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Argmt. from Intentionality Contra Materialism

SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 4:55:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Take materialism to be the claim that only the physical world exists; that everything that exists is material (i.e. has a given spatio-temporal location, etc.).

If materialism is true, then thoughts are just neurons firing in x-manner and neurons firing in x-manner are just an interaction of atoms thought-wise.

Now, consider a thought. A thought is inevitably "about" something. I may think, for example, about the post I'm writing right now on the Debate.org. If I am thirsty, I may be thinking about getting a cup of water. If I am hungry I may be thinking about hunger, or about the steak I left in the refrigerator. Call this "aboutness" intentionality. When I say that thoughts feature "intentionality," I am not saying that a thought must entail that a person thinking a thought must intend to do some thing or other; I am merely saying that a thought is inevitably "about" something.

Matter, however, is not "about" anything. An atom of hydrogen, for example, is not "about" anything. Seven billion atoms are not "about" anything. And so forth. Merely increasing the number of atoms does nothing to change the fact that atoms are not "about" anything. But if atoms are not "about" anything, and thoughts on this view (that is, materialism) are nothing more than a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise, then it follows that our thoughts are not "about" anything either.

But our thoughts clearly are "about" something. Even the thought "our thoughts are not about anything" is about something, namely, that our thoughts are not about anything. So materialism must be false (or, say, some form of dualism or something similar must be true).

This can be formalized into a syllogism:

Argument From Intentionality Contra Materialism:

P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false.

Let me know what you think
YYW
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11/2/2013 5:03:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I mean, while there are a whole host of things I have utterly no interest in, at least I can understand why it's probably a good thing that some people study Mayan pottery, the history of Turkmenistan or chemistry. But in this, I am unable to see the value. Perhaps that's more of a reflection of me... but I digress.
Tsar of DDO
Wnope
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11/2/2013 5:04:48 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:00:50 PM, YYW wrote:
I often wonder why people study this kind of stuff.

Kinda seems like one of the more important epistemology problems out there.
Wnope
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11/2/2013 5:05:47 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:03:18 PM, YYW wrote:
I mean, while there are a whole host of things I have utterly no interest in, at least I can understand why it's probably a good thing that some people study Mayan pottery, the history of Turkmenistan or chemistry. But in this, I am unable to see the value. Perhaps that's more of a reflection of me... but I digress.

What makes this any less "important" than any other philosophical question, then?
YYW
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11/2/2013 5:06:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:04:48 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:00:50 PM, YYW wrote:
I often wonder why people study this kind of stuff.

Kinda seems like one of the more important epistemology problems out there.

lol
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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11/2/2013 5:06:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:05:47 PM, Wnope wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:03:18 PM, YYW wrote:
I mean, while there are a whole host of things I have utterly no interest in, at least I can understand why it's probably a good thing that some people study Mayan pottery, the history of Turkmenistan or chemistry. But in this, I am unable to see the value. Perhaps that's more of a reflection of me... but I digress.

What makes this any less "important" than any other philosophical question, then?

I suppose that's a very good question.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
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11/2/2013 5:09:33 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:08:39 PM, Raisor wrote:
There's a whole lot to unpack in what exactly "about" and "intentionality" actually mean.

Oh yes. Do deconstruct them for us.
Tsar of DDO
themohawkninja
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11/2/2013 5:13:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You seem to use the term "about" to describe a word in between a general concept, and the specific variant of it (thoughts are general, as there are many different thoughts, whereas the image of a steak in your head is the specific thought, therefore the thought is about an image of a steak).

By that apparent use of the word, an atom can be about hydrogen. Atoms are your general concept, and hydrogen is the specific atom in question.

Since atoms make up thoughts, and atoms can be about something, materialism is therefore true.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 5:37:11 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What you want to debunk is physicalism, not materialism. Physicalism leaves room for the immaterial, as long as it is contingent upon the physical world in some way. This is the view most naturalists hold.
popculturepooka
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11/2/2013 5:39:45 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:08:39 PM, Raisor wrote:
There's a whole lot to unpack in what exactly "about" and "intentionality" actually mean.

http://plato.stanford.edu...
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 5:44:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, I sense a fallacy of composition. Perhaps the way the atoms are positioned and interact can create intentionality, even though each atom by itself cannot.
Sargon
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11/2/2013 5:52:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed.

It's from Plantinga
SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 6:17:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:52:37 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed.

It's from Plantinga

It's actually from Feser. The one I present, at any rate.
SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?


"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 6:29:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?

Gravity by definition is the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Gravity is a side-effect of matter, and an attractive immaterial force that moves material things. Material things have to be made of matter, but gravity isn't matter; thus it isn't material by definition.

"Gravity is a force pulling together all matter."[http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu...]

If gravity was matter, then we would have to say "the matter that pulls together all matter" which seems absurd. Gravity is clearly not matter, and thus something distinct from material.

"Materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, while physics has more recently shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter... So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

So, nobody really cares if you debunk materialism. As gravity and experiments in QM already do that. What you need to do is debunk physicalism.



"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 6:31:12 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 5:44:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also, I sense a fallacy of composition. Perhaps the way the atoms are positioned and interact can create intentionality, even though each atom by itself cannot.

It's difficult to see how any such configurations of atoms could ever be "about" something. For, as I said, an atom is clearly not "about" anything. Two atoms are still not "about" anything. Three atoms are not "about" anything. And so forth. Take a neuron, for example. A neuron is just a series of atoms arranged neuron-wise. But clearly a neuron is not "about" anything, just as, say, a clump of heart cells is not "about" anything. For these things are, at bottom, just atoms arranged in such-and-such manner. It seems impossible to reduce intentionality to any sort of material state.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 6:36:24 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:31:12 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:44:19 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also, I sense a fallacy of composition. Perhaps the way the atoms are positioned and interact can create intentionality, even though each atom by itself cannot.

It's difficult to see how any such configurations of atoms could ever be "about" something.

"X is not the case" does not follow "it's difficult to see how X could be the case".

For, as I said, an atom is clearly not "about" anything. Two atoms are still not "about" anything. Three atoms are not "about" anything. And so forth.

Yes, but it's the configuration of the atoms, not how many there are that I am getting at.

Take a neuron, for example. A neuron is just a series of atoms arranged neuron-wise. But clearly a neuron is not "about" anything, just as, say, a clump of heart cells is not "about" anything.

But the neurons engaged in a certain process and positioned in a certain way might be about something. No matter how many pieces of plastic and wires you put in front of me, we will not see moving pictures. But, if they are positioned right, then we have a TV. Even something that is true for every part of a whole doesn't have to be true for the whole. That is still a fallacy of composition.

For these things are, at bottom, just atoms arranged in such-and-such manner. It seems impossible to reduce intentionality to any sort of material state.

Why is it impossible? This just seems like a bare-assertion.
SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 6:37:54 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:29:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?

Gravity by definition is the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Gravity is a side-effect of matter, and an attractive immaterial force that moves material things. Material things have to be made of matter, but gravity isn't matter; thus it isn't material by definition.

"Gravity is a force pulling together all matter."[http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu...]

If gravity was matter, then we would have to say "the matter that pulls together all matter" which seems absurd. Gravity is clearly not matter, and thus something distinct from material.

"Materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, while physics has more recently shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter... So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

There seems to be a symmetry to matter/gravity insofar as you can't have one without the other. Can't one say something similar with density? Without matter, density is not instantiated. However, density is clearly a material aspect of things. Gravity also seems to be at least at any rate related to the material aspect of things, as, say, bigger material things have stronger gravity fields, etc. Surely gravity does not equal matter just as density doesn't equal matter, but both gravity and density seem to be essential properties of matter insofar as you cannot have matter without it having such-and-such density and it having such-and-such gravity field.

So, nobody really cares if you debunk materialism. As gravity and experiments in QM already do that. What you need to do is debunk physicalism.

Are you a realist/conceptualist/nominalist?



"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 6:38:56 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Also, these neuron firings don't have to be the thoughts themselves. Immaterial thoughts could be the side-effect of neuron firing, and could still fit into a physicalist view just fine.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 6:41:37 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:37:54 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:29:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?

Gravity by definition is the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Gravity is a side-effect of matter, and an attractive immaterial force that moves material things. Material things have to be made of matter, but gravity isn't matter; thus it isn't material by definition.

"Gravity is a force pulling together all matter."[http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu...]

If gravity was matter, then we would have to say "the matter that pulls together all matter" which seems absurd. Gravity is clearly not matter, and thus something distinct from material.

"Materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, while physics has more recently shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter... So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

There seems to be a symmetry to matter/gravity insofar as you can't have one without the other. Can't one say something similar with density? Without matter, density is not instantiated. However, density is clearly a material aspect of things. Gravity also seems to be at least at any rate related to the material aspect of things, as, say, bigger material things have stronger gravity fields, etc. Surely gravity does not equal matter just as density doesn't equal matter, but both gravity and density seem to be essential properties of matter insofar as you cannot have matter without it having such-and-such density and it having such-and-such gravity field.

Without X you don't have Y =/= X is Y

Gravity, itself, is not material by definition. Thus, if materialism says everything is material, gravity debunks it.


So, nobody really cares if you debunk materialism. As gravity and experiments in QM already do that. What you need to do is debunk physicalism.

Are you a realist/conceptualist/nominalist?



"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 6:44:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
You confuse a "side-effect" with a "property of" I think, as a "property of" implies it is a part of it. However, a side-effect is something completely distinct. If you have allergies to a plant that makes you break out in hives... The hives aren't a property of the plant, but a side-effect of it. Similarly, gravity is commonly understood as a side-effect of matter, not a property of it.
SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 6:46:03 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:41:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:37:54 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:29:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?

Gravity by definition is the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Gravity is a side-effect of matter, and an attractive immaterial force that moves material things. Material things have to be made of matter, but gravity isn't matter; thus it isn't material by definition.

"Gravity is a force pulling together all matter."[http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu...]

If gravity was matter, then we would have to say "the matter that pulls together all matter" which seems absurd. Gravity is clearly not matter, and thus something distinct from material.

"Materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, while physics has more recently shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter... So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

There seems to be a symmetry to matter/gravity insofar as you can't have one without the other. Can't one say something similar with density? Without matter, density is not instantiated. However, density is clearly a material aspect of things. Gravity also seems to be at least at any rate related to the material aspect of things, as, say, bigger material things have stronger gravity fields, etc. Surely gravity does not equal matter just as density doesn't equal matter, but both gravity and density seem to be essential properties of matter insofar as you cannot have matter without it having such-and-such density and it having such-and-such gravity field.

Without X you don't have Y =/= X is Y

Gravity, itself, is not material by definition. Thus, if materialism says everything is material, gravity debunks it.

But, of course, I didn't say that gravity is material; I said that gravity is merely an essential property of a material thing, as, say, density is.


So, nobody really cares if you debunk materialism. As gravity and experiments in QM already do that. What you need to do is debunk physicalism.

Are you a realist/conceptualist/nominalist?



"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/2/2013 6:53:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:46:03 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:41:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:37:54 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:29:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?

Gravity by definition is the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Gravity is a side-effect of matter, and an attractive immaterial force that moves material things. Material things have to be made of matter, but gravity isn't matter; thus it isn't material by definition.

"Gravity is a force pulling together all matter."[http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu...]

If gravity was matter, then we would have to say "the matter that pulls together all matter" which seems absurd. Gravity is clearly not matter, and thus something distinct from material.

"Materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, while physics has more recently shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter... So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

There seems to be a symmetry to matter/gravity insofar as you can't have one without the other. Can't one say something similar with density? Without matter, density is not instantiated. However, density is clearly a material aspect of things. Gravity also seems to be at least at any rate related to the material aspect of things, as, say, bigger material things have stronger gravity fields, etc. Surely gravity does not equal matter just as density doesn't equal matter, but both gravity and density seem to be essential properties of matter insofar as you cannot have matter without it having such-and-such density and it having such-and-such gravity field.

Without X you don't have Y =/= X is Y

Gravity, itself, is not material by definition. Thus, if materialism says everything is material, gravity debunks it.


But, of course, I didn't say that gravity is material; I said that gravity is merely an essential property of a material thing, as, say, density is.

But if it isn't material, then it is immaterial necessarily (law of excluded middle). So, if materialism states that everything is material; it is still debunked. Also, gravity is a distinct side-effect of matter, not a property of it.



So, nobody really cares if you debunk materialism. As gravity and experiments in QM already do that. What you need to do is debunk physicalism.

Are you a realist/conceptualist/nominalist?

I'm a "we don't really know enough about the mind to take definition positionsist" lol




"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
Sargon
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11/2/2013 7:53:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:17:02 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:52:37 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed.

It's from Plantinga


It's actually from Feser. The one I present, at any rate.

I don't know who that is, but I'm pretty sure if he made this argument, it was based on Plantinga's article.
SovereignDream
Posts: 1,119
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11/2/2013 9:28:35 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 6:53:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:46:03 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:41:37 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:37:54 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:29:58 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:20:10 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
"P1. If materialism is true, then thoughts are just a sequence of atoms interacting thought-wise.

P2. Atoms have no intentional states (i.e. atoms are not "about" anything).

P3. Therefore, (from P1 and P2) if materialism is true, then thoughts have no intentional states.

P4. Thoughts do have intentional states.

C: Therefore, (from P3 and P4) materialism is false."

Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed. However, first we must know exactly what you mean by "materialism". Due to quantum mechanics, a strict view of materialism has already been debunked and most Atheists don't agree with that view. To me, a theist attacking a strict view of materialism is like an Atheist attacking the idea of a man with a beard in the sky; these aren't the positions that are commonly held by either side. Also, gravity debunks the idea of materialism because gravity by definition is a side effect of material, it isn't material itself. Webster defines immaterial as:

Can't gravity sensibly be taken to be a property of matter itself, just as, say, density is?

Gravity by definition is the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.[http://www.oxforddictionaries.com...]

Gravity is a side-effect of matter, and an attractive immaterial force that moves material things. Material things have to be made of matter, but gravity isn't matter; thus it isn't material by definition.

"Gravity is a force pulling together all matter."[http://www.qrg.northwestern.edu...]

If gravity was matter, then we would have to say "the matter that pulls together all matter" which seems absurd. Gravity is clearly not matter, and thus something distinct from material.

"Materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, while physics has more recently shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter... So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism." [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

There seems to be a symmetry to matter/gravity insofar as you can't have one without the other. Can't one say something similar with density? Without matter, density is not instantiated. However, density is clearly a material aspect of things. Gravity also seems to be at least at any rate related to the material aspect of things, as, say, bigger material things have stronger gravity fields, etc. Surely gravity does not equal matter just as density doesn't equal matter, but both gravity and density seem to be essential properties of matter insofar as you cannot have matter without it having such-and-such density and it having such-and-such gravity field.

Without X you don't have Y =/= X is Y

Gravity, itself, is not material by definition. Thus, if materialism says everything is material, gravity debunks it.


But, of course, I didn't say that gravity is material; I said that gravity is merely an essential property of a material thing, as, say, density is.

But if it isn't material, then it is immaterial necessarily (law of excluded middle). So, if materialism states that everything is material; it is still debunked. Also, gravity is a distinct side-effect of matter, not a property of it.

What gravity is will depend on your metaphysics of science. Lots of hardcore physicalists will say that gravity is a law, and a law is just a best systemization of facts in the world. On that view, gravity is basically reducible to a special kind of regularity we observe. Other accounts turn laws into more tangible things, e.g. forces or nomic necessitation relations. These views are anti-materialistic in a sense, though. However, if gravity a field of force, or a distortion in space-time, as many accounts have it, it would be a thoroughly extended and thus physicalistic phenomenon.



So, nobody really cares if you debunk materialism. As gravity and experiments in QM already do that. What you need to do is debunk physicalism.

Are you a realist/conceptualist/nominalist?

I'm a "we don't really know enough about the mind to take definition positionsist" lol

Do you at least tentatively lean one way or the other?





"Not composed of matter <it is only possible to study immaterial forces like gravity by observing their effects on the physical world"

So, if materialism is the view that everything is material, then gravity debunks materialism already. Even if your argument is true, it is trivially true. Similar to if I debunked the idea of a man with a beard in the sky, it would be trivially true as you don't even believe in that.
SovereignDream
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11/2/2013 9:29:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 7:53:16 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:17:02 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:52:37 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed.

It's from Plantinga


It's actually from Feser. The one I present, at any rate.

I don't know who that is, but I'm pretty sure if he made this argument, it was based on Plantinga's article.

It's certainly possible.
Sargon
Posts: 524
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11/2/2013 9:34:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/2/2013 9:29:02 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 7:53:16 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 11/2/2013 6:17:02 PM, SovereignDream wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:52:37 PM, Sargon wrote:
At 11/2/2013 5:35:24 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Interesting argument! If you came up with it yourself then I am impressed.

It's from Plantinga


It's actually from Feser. The one I present, at any rate.

I don't know who that is, but I'm pretty sure if he made this argument, it was based on Plantinga's article.

It's certainly possible.

I would go beyond possibility. I would say that it actually is. Plantinga is widely given credit for making the argument.