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You and your body are not the same thing

Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.
InvictusManeo
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11/18/2013 3:57:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

Interesting topic. I'd like to posit the following line of argumentation:

(1) Your brain is the control centre where memories, personality and the sense of self assimilate.

(2) Your body is a tool which your brain deploys to form an identity through the process of environment enacting upon the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell and hear).

(3) Without your body interacting with your environment, no information could be processed by your brain to develop memories, personality and all that constitutes 'personage' or personhood.

(4) The brain and the body work in symbiotic form to make up a human.

(5) Therefore, without the physical human body the brain cannot function as the brain of a human being, and without your body you are not human.

Now a human brain is a human brain regardless of whether or not it resides within a body, but if we are addressing the concept of the self existing outside of a physical human body then I disagree that it is possible and argue instead that the brain and body are designed to work together to form personhood. I do not think that a human brain would be able to function if transplanted into a different physical form.
Graincruncher
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11/18/2013 5:47:25 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

Problem solved by moving his rather arbitrary definition to 'living body', which is what he implies by 'body' and then equivocates with 'object'. Clarify it at the start and you don't get his rather eyebrow-raising conclusion.
sdavio
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11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..
"Logic is the money of the mind." - Karl Marx
Graincruncher
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11/18/2013 7:47:48 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

Precisely - it is also imaginable that if I were physically chopped in half that my two halves would continue living and regrow into two copies of me. All Plantinga has shown here is that 1) he isn't entirely honest and 2) people have used words in different ways. This doesn't mean that difference is real or sensible. He's just missing the point that if the mind is emergent from physical processes, it may be an identifiable attribute that behaves distinctly from other parts of that system, but it is very much still a part of that system and entirely reliant on it for its existence.

To be honest, the more I find out about Plantinga the lower my opinion of him grows.
zmikecuber
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11/18/2013 11:24:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

But would you really be you if you were in an entirely different body? Wouldn't it be a sort of "beetle you" then? I think this illustrates a nice point, but I personally thing that a "you" is a composite of body and mind which make up one substance...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

If one can conceive of something, it can't be impossible.

Things which are inconceivable, such as a square triangle, are impossible to be.

However, creating a mental image of something, and conceiving it aren't necessarily the exact same thing. One can conceive things while not being able to have a mental image of it. For example, if I say a "1000 sided geometrical figure" you can conceive what this means without having a mental image of it.

The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 11:34:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 3:57:04 AM, InvictusManeo wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

Interesting topic. I'd like to posit the following line of argumentation:

(1) Your brain is the control centre where memories, personality and the sense of self assimilate.

(2) Your body is a tool which your brain deploys to form an identity through the process of environment enacting upon the senses (sight, touch, taste, smell and hear).

(3) Without your body interacting with your environment, no information could be processed by your brain to develop memories, personality and all that constitutes 'personage' or personhood.

(4) The brain and the body work in symbiotic form to make up a human.

(5) Therefore, without the physical human body the brain cannot function as the brain of a human being, and without your body you are not human.

Now a human brain is a human brain regardless of whether or not it resides within a body, but if we are addressing the concept of the self existing outside of a physical human body then I disagree that it is possible and argue instead that the brain and body are designed to work together to form personhood. I do not think that a human brain would be able to function if transplanted into a different physical form.

You confuse physical possibility with metaphysical possibility. The argument only assumes that the "self" could exist without the body conceivably, and that this is the case in some possible world. Even if specific minds depend on specific bodies this is a contingent physical truth.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:06:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 5:47:25 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

Problem solved by moving his rather arbitrary definition to 'living body', which is what he implies by 'body' and then equivocates with 'object'. Clarify it at the start and you don't get his rather eyebrow-raising conclusion.

Huh? lol
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:07:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

There is nothing logically or metaphysically impossible with waking up in a beatle's body. It's self-evidently possible.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:11:14 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 7:47:48 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

Precisely - it is also imaginable that if I were physically chopped in half that my two halves would continue living and regrow into two copies of me.

Yes, that that is completely possible though!

All Plantinga has shown here is that 1) he isn't entirely honest and 2) people have used words in different ways.

He's completely honest. I just don't think you understand the argument.

This doesn't mean that difference is real or sensible.

Yes, it does. Part of the properties of a thing are its modal properties. Also, if A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B. You can conceive of your mind existing without your brain, but not your brain existing without your brain. Thus, there is one thing that is true for your mind that is not true of your brain. Thus, they are not the same.

He's just missing the point that if the mind is emergent from physical processes, it may be an identifiable attribute that behaves distinctly from other parts of that system, but it is very much still a part of that system and entirely reliant on it for its existence.

HAHAHAHAAH You miss the point! You confuse physical possibility with metaphysical possibility.


To be honest, the more I find out about Plantinga the lower my opinion of him grows.

That's because you don't understand his arguments.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:12:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 11:24:07 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

But would you really be you if you were in an entirely different body? Wouldn't it be a sort of "beetle you" then? I think this illustrates a nice point, but I personally thing that a "you" is a composite of body and mind which make up one substance...

You equivocate. By "you" he means your "self" or "mind". He is saying that youself is not the same as your body, or your mind is not the same as your brain
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:18:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

If one can conceive of something, it can't be impossible.

Things which are inconceivable, such as a square triangle, are impossible to be.


However, creating a mental image of something, and conceiving it aren't necessarily the exact same thing. One can conceive things while not being able to have a mental image of it. For example, if I say a "1000 sided geometrical figure" you can conceive what this means without having a mental image of it.

The point is that something conceivable is prima facie not logically impossible. I can conceive of flying pigs without wings. It is physically impossible, but not logically or metaphysically impossible. The point of plantinga's argument is that in some possible world, your "self" exists without your "body", or your "mind" exists without your "brain". Its more than a modest claim to say that you wake up in a beatle's body in some possible world. To deny that, you might as well deny any possibility claim (which is absurd).

However, it is logically impossible for your brain to exist without your brain (they are the same). Thus, since there is something true for your "mind" that isn't true for your brain:

"possibly exists without brain"

Then the mind and the brain CANNOT be identical.


The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

Of course we can, many movies have been made off of the same thing. It's completely a coherent concept. If you say you cannot conceive of that, you might as well say you cannot conceive of anything.
zmikecuber
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11/18/2013 12:19:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:12:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:24:07 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

But would you really be you if you were in an entirely different body? Wouldn't it be a sort of "beetle you" then? I think this illustrates a nice point, but I personally thing that a "you" is a composite of body and mind which make up one substance...

You equivocate. By "you" he means your "self" or "mind". He is saying that youself is not the same as your body, or your mind is not the same as your brain

Well then in that case, I would be more inclined to agree.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:23:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:19:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:12:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:24:07 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

But would you really be you if you were in an entirely different body? Wouldn't it be a sort of "beetle you" then? I think this illustrates a nice point, but I personally thing that a "you" is a composite of body and mind which make up one substance...

You equivocate. By "you" he means your "self" or "mind". He is saying that youself is not the same as your body, or your mind is not the same as your brain

Well then in that case, I would be more inclined to agree.

It's just an argument against people who say that mental states and brain states are the same, or against people who say things like:

"we don't have bodies; we are bodies."

Even though I agree that one depends on the other, that doesn't mean they are identical. It seems like a powerful argument from Plantinga.
zmikecuber
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11/18/2013 12:26:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:18:21 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

If one can conceive of something, it can't be impossible.

Things which are inconceivable, such as a square triangle, are impossible to be.


However, creating a mental image of something, and conceiving it aren't necessarily the exact same thing. One can conceive things while not being able to have a mental image of it. For example, if I say a "1000 sided geometrical figure" you can conceive what this means without having a mental image of it.

The point is that something conceivable is prima facie not logically impossible. I can conceive of flying pigs without wings. It is physically impossible, but not logically or metaphysically impossible. The point of plantinga's argument is that in some possible world, your "self" exists without your "body", or your "mind" exists without your "brain". Its more than a modest claim to say that you wake up in a beatle's body in some possible world. To deny that, you might as well deny any possibility claim (which is absurd).

I agree.


However, it is logically impossible for your brain to exist without your brain (they are the same). Thus, since there is something true for your "mind" that isn't true for your brain:

I don't disagree with the argument exactly, in fact I tend towards believing it.


"possibly exists without brain"

Then the mind and the brain CANNOT be identical.


I agree. I don't think the mind and the brain are identical. However, I'm not sure I would go to becoming a substance dualist, since it seems that for a "person" to be a "person" their body also plays a key role in who someone is.


The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

Of course we can, many movies have been made off of the same thing. It's completely a coherent concept. If you say you cannot conceive of that, you might as well say you cannot conceive of anything.

Hmm... This sounds very familiar to an argument in favor of free will.

So, let me get this straight, if the mind and brain were the same thing, then it would be impossible for them to exist without each other. I agree. Thus, our conception of waking up in a beetle body would more resemble conceiving a "square triangle" (another metaphysically impossible thing). But the fact is that it doesn't, and seems very plausible.

So if mind/brain were identical, imagining one without the other would more resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility (like imagining a square triangle)?

Am I understanding this correctly?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
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11/18/2013 12:27:25 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:23:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:19:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:12:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:24:07 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:58:23 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Alvin Plantinga has a good argument against the notion that you and your body are identicial. There is something else besides your body that makes you, you. Imagine you wake up tomorrow in a the body of a beatle. If you can do that easily then it is conceivable that you can exist without your body. However, it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body.

If A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B and vice versa. Thus, if you and your body are the same then whatever is true for you, is true for your body. However, a truth pertaining to you is that it is conceivable for you to exist without your body, but it is not conceivable for your body to exist without your body. Therefore, there is a truth about you that doesn't hold for your body. Thus, you are not your body.

But would you really be you if you were in an entirely different body? Wouldn't it be a sort of "beetle you" then? I think this illustrates a nice point, but I personally thing that a "you" is a composite of body and mind which make up one substance...

You equivocate. By "you" he means your "self" or "mind". He is saying that youself is not the same as your body, or your mind is not the same as your brain

Well then in that case, I would be more inclined to agree.

It's just an argument against people who say that mental states and brain states are the same, or against people who say things like:

"we don't have bodies; we are bodies."

Even though I agree that one depends on the other, that doesn't mean they are identical. It seems like a powerful argument from Plantinga.

Ok, I think we're in agreement then. You might find a sort of hylemorphic dualism interesting...
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Graincruncher
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11/18/2013 12:31:44 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

A much better question in all ways and the answer is 'no'. Who we are - the unique shape/structure of thoughts that is 'us', I suppose you could say - is utterly dependent on our physical form. I don't mean 'reliant' on in the existential sense (although I would argue that too), but that they are inextricably linked.

On a very heavily simplified level, you could say that someone who is born with a genetic propensity towards athleticism and average intelligence is going to be different to someone who is born with such a propensity towards intellectualism but average athleticism. Their environment will of course help shape this, but physical aptitude is a significant factor. This is one side of it.

On a more complex level, our minds are shaped - almost literally - by our bodies. Our awareness is defined by the extent, capability and arrangement of our physical attributes. I have arms in certain places. My legs work in such-and-such a way. My primary sensory organs tend to cluster around my head. I will unthinkingly sacrifice a limb to protect my torso or head, where many of my vital organs are located. The way my brain filters information includes a 'stage' or 'criteria' of "how relevant to my physicality is this information?" and the signals sent out in response will govern our behaviour, emotional state and entire understanding and perception of the event.

So if we were to try 'being' a beetle, we could not; it would require an entirely different type of mind than we have. Who we are is entirely involved with what we are and how we are. There's an interesting paper by David Cockburn on this topic, I think called "People & Their Bodies". I've not read it for years, but I remember the general sense being what I'm saying here.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:31:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:26:19 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:18:21 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

If one can conceive of something, it can't be impossible.

Things which are inconceivable, such as a square triangle, are impossible to be.


However, creating a mental image of something, and conceiving it aren't necessarily the exact same thing. One can conceive things while not being able to have a mental image of it. For example, if I say a "1000 sided geometrical figure" you can conceive what this means without having a mental image of it.

The point is that something conceivable is prima facie not logically impossible. I can conceive of flying pigs without wings. It is physically impossible, but not logically or metaphysically impossible. The point of plantinga's argument is that in some possible world, your "self" exists without your "body", or your "mind" exists without your "brain". Its more than a modest claim to say that you wake up in a beatle's body in some possible world. To deny that, you might as well deny any possibility claim (which is absurd).

I agree.


However, it is logically impossible for your brain to exist without your brain (they are the same). Thus, since there is something true for your "mind" that isn't true for your brain:

I don't disagree with the argument exactly, in fact I tend towards believing it.


"possibly exists without brain"

Then the mind and the brain CANNOT be identical.


I agree. I don't think the mind and the brain are identical. However, I'm not sure I would go to becoming a substance dualist, since it seems that for a "person" to be a "person" their body also plays a key role in who someone is.


The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

Of course we can, many movies have been made off of the same thing. It's completely a coherent concept. If you say you cannot conceive of that, you might as well say you cannot conceive of anything.

Hmm... This sounds very familiar to an argument in favor of free will.

So, let me get this straight, if the mind and brain were the same thing, then it would be impossible for them to exist without each other. I agree. Thus, our conception of waking up in a beetle body would more resemble conceiving a "square triangle" (another metaphysically impossible thing). But the fact is that it doesn't, and seems very plausible.

So if mind/brain were identical, imagining one without the other would more resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility (like imagining a square triangle)?

Am I understanding this correctly?

You are understanding correctly. The argument is that if A and B are identical, then whatever is true for A, is true for B. For example, lets take to things:

(i) George Bush
(ii) The 41st President of the United States

If they are the same, then whatever is true for George Bush is true for the 41st president of the United States. If it was possible for George not to go to Iraq, then it was possible for the 41st president not to go to Iraq. Whatever is true for one, is true for the other; the are the same.

Lets take these two things though:

(i) The mind
(ii) The brain

There is something that is true for (i) that isn't true for (ii):

"possibly (conceivably) exists without the brain"

This is true for the mind, but not true for the brain (it is logically impossible for the brain to exist without the brain) . Thus, they cannot be identical, because if they were then whatever would true for the mind would true for the brain.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 12:32:40 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:31:44 PM, Graincruncher wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

A much better question in all ways and the answer is 'no'. Who we are - the unique shape/structure of thoughts that is 'us', I suppose you could say - is utterly dependent on our physical form. I don't mean 'reliant' on in the existential sense (although I would argue that too), but that they are inextricably linked.


On a very heavily simplified level, you could say that someone who is born with a genetic propensity towards athleticism and average intelligence is going to be different to someone who is born with such a propensity towards intellectualism but average athleticism. Their environment will of course help shape this, but physical aptitude is a significant factor. This is one side of it.

On a more complex level, our minds are shaped - almost literally - by our bodies. Our awareness is defined by the extent, capability and arrangement of our physical attributes. I have arms in certain places. My legs work in such-and-such a way. My primary sensory organs tend to cluster around my head. I will unthinkingly sacrifice a limb to protect my torso or head, where many of my vital organs are located. The way my brain filters information includes a 'stage' or 'criteria' of "how relevant to my physicality is this information?" and the signals sent out in response will govern our behaviour, emotional state and entire understanding and perception of the event.

So if we were to try 'being' a beetle, we could not; it would require an entirely different type of mind than we have. Who we are is entirely involved with what we are and how we are. There's an interesting paper by David Cockburn on this topic, I think called "People & Their Bodies". I've not read it for years, but I remember the general sense being what I'm saying here.

You confuse physical possibility with metaphysical possibility. Thus, your rebuttal fails.
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11/18/2013 12:39:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:31:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:26:19 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:18:21 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

If one can conceive of something, it can't be impossible.

Things which are inconceivable, such as a square triangle, are impossible to be.


However, creating a mental image of something, and conceiving it aren't necessarily the exact same thing. One can conceive things while not being able to have a mental image of it. For example, if I say a "1000 sided geometrical figure" you can conceive what this means without having a mental image of it.

The point is that something conceivable is prima facie not logically impossible. I can conceive of flying pigs without wings. It is physically impossible, but not logically or metaphysically impossible. The point of plantinga's argument is that in some possible world, your "self" exists without your "body", or your "mind" exists without your "brain". Its more than a modest claim to say that you wake up in a beatle's body in some possible world. To deny that, you might as well deny any possibility claim (which is absurd).

I agree.


However, it is logically impossible for your brain to exist without your brain (they are the same). Thus, since there is something true for your "mind" that isn't true for your brain:

I don't disagree with the argument exactly, in fact I tend towards believing it.


"possibly exists without brain"

Then the mind and the brain CANNOT be identical.


I agree. I don't think the mind and the brain are identical. However, I'm not sure I would go to becoming a substance dualist, since it seems that for a "person" to be a "person" their body also plays a key role in who someone is.


The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

Of course we can, many movies have been made off of the same thing. It's completely a coherent concept. If you say you cannot conceive of that, you might as well say you cannot conceive of anything.

Hmm... This sounds very familiar to an argument in favor of free will.

So, let me get this straight, if the mind and brain were the same thing, then it would be impossible for them to exist without each other. I agree. Thus, our conception of waking up in a beetle body would more resemble conceiving a "square triangle" (another metaphysically impossible thing). But the fact is that it doesn't, and seems very plausible.

So if mind/brain were identical, imagining one without the other would more resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility (like imagining a square triangle)?

Am I understanding this correctly?

You are understanding correctly. The argument is that if A and B are identical, then whatever is true for A, is true for B. For example, lets take to things:

(i) George Bush
(ii) The 41st President of the United States

If they are the same, then whatever is true for George Bush is true for the 41st president of the United States. If it was possible for George not to go to Iraq, then it was possible for the 41st president not to go to Iraq. Whatever is true for one, is true for the other; the are the same.

Lets take these two things though:

(i) The mind
(ii) The brain

There is something that is true for (i) that isn't true for (ii):

"possibly (conceivably) exists without the brain"

This is true for the mind, but not true for the brain (it is logically impossible for the brain to exist without the brain) . Thus, they cannot be identical, because if they were then whatever would true for the mind would true for the brain.

So could we sum up the argument...

P1: IF the mind and brain are identical, THEN imagining one without the other would resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility.
P2: Imagining one without the other does not resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility.
.'. The mind and brain are not identical.

I'm starting to like this argument more and more... It seems pretty strong. I'd like to see serious objections.
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Magic8000
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11/18/2013 1:27:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
How do you suppose the mind evolved?

As for the argument, I remember seeing it in a philosophy lecture before, but I'll have to think about it a bit more.
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Magic8000
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11/18/2013 1:36:07 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
What's your explanation for mind body correlations? The way I've seen Descartes rebut it was claiming that the brain was essentially a relay for the mind. But the problem is we can affect the brain with electromagnetic waves and this affects the mind. If the brain was simply a relay, we shouldn't see this.

For instance, in Ham Radio there are repeaters that pick up your radio signal and send it farther than if you were using a simplex frequency. The brain would essentially be a repeater for the mind if dualism is true, however doing something like heating up the repeater would not do anything to your radio.

Also if the mind is non physical, many agree this would violate several laws of physics.
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Magic8000
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11/18/2013 1:36:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
By the way, I think David Chalmers came up with this argument. Not Alvin Planplan.
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Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 1:37:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 12:39:46 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:31:51 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:26:19 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 12:18:21 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 11:27:08 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 11/18/2013 7:32:48 AM, sdavio wrote:
Something being imaginable does not make it possible nor sensible. Many people imagine a god exists, but that doesn't make the concept any more plausible. We can imagine being in a beetles body because we have imaginations..

If one can conceive of something, it can't be impossible.

Things which are inconceivable, such as a square triangle, are impossible to be.


However, creating a mental image of something, and conceiving it aren't necessarily the exact same thing. One can conceive things while not being able to have a mental image of it. For example, if I say a "1000 sided geometrical figure" you can conceive what this means without having a mental image of it.

The point is that something conceivable is prima facie not logically impossible. I can conceive of flying pigs without wings. It is physically impossible, but not logically or metaphysically impossible. The point of plantinga's argument is that in some possible world, your "self" exists without your "body", or your "mind" exists without your "brain". Its more than a modest claim to say that you wake up in a beatle's body in some possible world. To deny that, you might as well deny any possibility claim (which is absurd).

I agree.


However, it is logically impossible for your brain to exist without your brain (they are the same). Thus, since there is something true for your "mind" that isn't true for your brain:

I don't disagree with the argument exactly, in fact I tend towards believing it.


"possibly exists without brain"

Then the mind and the brain CANNOT be identical.


I agree. I don't think the mind and the brain are identical. However, I'm not sure I would go to becoming a substance dualist, since it seems that for a "person" to be a "person" their body also plays a key role in who someone is.


The question really is whether or not we can actually conceive of waking up in a beetle body...

Of course we can, many movies have been made off of the same thing. It's completely a coherent concept. If you say you cannot conceive of that, you might as well say you cannot conceive of anything.

Hmm... This sounds very familiar to an argument in favor of free will.

So, let me get this straight, if the mind and brain were the same thing, then it would be impossible for them to exist without each other. I agree. Thus, our conception of waking up in a beetle body would more resemble conceiving a "square triangle" (another metaphysically impossible thing). But the fact is that it doesn't, and seems very plausible.

So if mind/brain were identical, imagining one without the other would more resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility (like imagining a square triangle)?

Am I understanding this correctly?

You are understanding correctly. The argument is that if A and B are identical, then whatever is true for A, is true for B. For example, lets take to things:

(i) George Bush
(ii) The 41st President of the United States

If they are the same, then whatever is true for George Bush is true for the 41st president of the United States. If it was possible for George not to go to Iraq, then it was possible for the 41st president not to go to Iraq. Whatever is true for one, is true for the other; the are the same.

Lets take these two things though:

(i) The mind
(ii) The brain

There is something that is true for (i) that isn't true for (ii):

"possibly (conceivably) exists without the brain"

This is true for the mind, but not true for the brain (it is logically impossible for the brain to exist without the brain) . Thus, they cannot be identical, because if they were then whatever would true for the mind would true for the brain.

So could we sum up the argument...

P1: IF the mind and brain are identical, THEN imagining one without the other would resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility.
P2: Imagining one without the other does not resemble imagining a metaphysical impossibility.
.'. The mind and brain are not identical.

I'm starting to like this argument more and more... It seems pretty strong. I'd like to see serious objections.

I would say:

P1: If the mind is identical to the brain, then whatever is true for the mind is true for the brain

P2: There is something that is true for the mind, that is t not true for the brain

C: Therefore, the mind is not identical to the brain

I agree that it is a great argument. People just forget that something that is physically impossible can still be metaphysically conceivable when arguing against its possibility. Chopping my body in half and having both still live is physically impossible, but it is metaphysically conceivable. A pig flying with no wings out in outer space without freezing to death is physically impossible, but metaphysically possible. Thus, even if our specific minds cannot physically exist without our specific brain, it is still metaphysically conceivable that my mind can exist without this brain. There is nothing incoherent about it, and there doesn't see to be anything which would make it metaphysically impossible.

Since the below is true for my mind but not my brain:

"possibly exists without my brain"

Then there is something true for my mind that is not true for my brain. They cannot be identical.
Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 1:40:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Magic, I am talking about metaphysical possibility, not physical possibility. Whether it violates the laws of physics, or is physically impossible doesn't matter. Also, yes, Plantinga regurgitated this argument but made it modal I think to avoid problems with the older versions.
Magic8000
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11/18/2013 1:59:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 1:40:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Magic, I am talking about metaphysical possibility, not physical possibility. Whether it violates the laws of physics, or is physically impossible doesn't matter. Also, yes, Plantinga regurgitated this argument but made it modal I think to avoid problems with the older versions.

I'm not sure I understand. Are you making a claim about the possibility of dualism or a claim that dualism is true?
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Rational_Thinker9119
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11/18/2013 2:11:55 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 1:59:23 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:40:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Magic, I am talking about metaphysical possibility, not physical possibility. Whether it violates the laws of physics, or is physically impossible doesn't matter. Also, yes, Plantinga regurgitated this argument but made it modal I think to avoid problems with the older versions.

I'm not sure I understand. Are you making a claim about the possibility of dualism or a claim that dualism is true?

Both (its a modal argument). Unlike the MOA, I actually find this one convincing.

Would you agree that if A is identical to B, then whatever is true for A is true for B? You should, as this is known as logically necessary. For example, if "George Bush" and "the 41st president of the United States" are identical (which they are), then if it was possible for George Bush not to go to Iraq, then it was possible for the 41st president not to go to Iraq. If George Bush got punched in the face yesterday, then it is necessary that the 41st president of the United States got punched in the face yesterday. If it is impossible for George Bush to turn into an angel, then it is impossible for the 41st president of the United States to turn into an angel. I think you get the point... If A and B are truly the same, then whatever is true for one should be true for the other. Therefore, if I can show that there is something true about your mental states that is NOT true about your brain states; it follows necessarily that your mental states and brain states are not the same.

It is metaphysically possible for your mental states to exist without your brain states. It is easily conceivable that tomorrow when you wake up, you could be in a beatle body without the brain you have now. Therefore, it is possible that your mental states to exist without the brain states you have now. Now, this may be physically impossible, but it is clearly metaphysically possible. However, it is not conceivable or possible for your brain states to exist without your brain states (that is clearly contradictory).

Thus, there is something that is true for your mind, that is not true for your brain:

"exists in some possible world without brain states"

Since there is something that is true for your mental states that is not true for your brain states ("possible exists without brain states") then they cannot be identical!

Therefore, mental states are not brain states.
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11/18/2013 2:26:19 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 11/18/2013 1:59:23 PM, Magic8000 wrote:
At 11/18/2013 1:40:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Magic, I am talking about metaphysical possibility, not physical possibility. Whether it violates the laws of physics, or is physically impossible doesn't matter. Also, yes, Plantinga regurgitated this argument but made it modal I think to avoid problems with the older versions.

I'm not sure I understand. Are you making a claim about the possibility of dualism or a claim that dualism is true?

So if you grant that it is metaphysically possible for your mental states to exist without your brain states (which is a modest claim, it certainly seems reasonable to assume that in some possible world you could wake up in a different body, with a different brain, with your same personality and mental states still in tact), then it follows necessarily that mental states and brain states are identical. If they were, then whatever is true for one is true for the other. However, it is true that your mental states possibly exist without your brain states, but not true that your brain states possibly exist without your brain states. Since there is something true for your mind, but false for the brain, then they cannot be the same.