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Idealism?

Rational_Thinker9119
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12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.
Noumena
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12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/28/2013 10:22:09 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM, Noumena wrote:
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.

Not really. If Idealism is true, then what makes up the "I" is consciousness.
popculturepooka
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12/28/2013 11:56:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

That's only an argument against Cartesian dualism. It doesn't touch other forms of dualism like Stewart Goetz's, or E.J. Lowe's (which is appropriately called "non-cartesian dualism", or William Hasker's, etc...
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popculturepooka
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12/28/2013 12:04:40 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Idealism is actually pretty hard to refute.

Robert Adams (one my favorite philosophers) has a very good paper on the subject called "Idealism Vindicated". (You can pm me if you want to read it).
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popculturepooka
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12/28/2013 12:06:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:04:40 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
Idealism is actually pretty hard to refute.

Robert Adams (one my favorite philosophers) has a very good paper on the subject called "Idealism Vindicated". (You can pm me if you want to read it).

I was actually thinking about arguing for idealism in a debate as an intellectual exercise. Some of my acquaitances have recently "converted" to being idealists.
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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12/28/2013 12:08:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 11:56:23 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

That's only an argument against Cartesian dualism. It doesn't touch other forms of dualism like Stewart Goetz's, or E.J. Lowe's (which is appropriately called "non-cartesian dualism", or William Hasker's, etc...

Are you referring to Property Dualism? Sorry if I am mistaken.
popculturepooka
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12/28/2013 12:14:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:08:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 11:56:23 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

That's only an argument against Cartesian dualism. It doesn't touch other forms of dualism like Stewart Goetz's, or E.J. Lowe's (which is appropriately called "non-cartesian dualism", or William Hasker's, etc...

Are you referring to Property Dualism? Sorry if I am mistaken.

A property dualism would agreed that consciousness arises from processes of the brain. They just wouldn't agree that it is identical to brain states.

I mean other forms of substance dualism. A lot of substance dualists don't feel the need to think of "souls" or "minds" as so radically and extremely different from each other because they don't hold to Descartes ontology. He thought they were so radically different because he held that there was one essential property of matter and that was "extension". Some substance dualists even have "minds/souls" having things normally thought of as physical properties.
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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12/28/2013 12:26:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:14:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:08:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 11:56:23 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

That's only an argument against Cartesian dualism. It doesn't touch other forms of dualism like Stewart Goetz's, or E.J. Lowe's (which is appropriately called "non-cartesian dualism", or William Hasker's, etc...

Are you referring to Property Dualism? Sorry if I am mistaken.

A property dualism would agreed that consciousness arises from processes of the brain. They just wouldn't agree that it is identical to brain states.

I mean other forms of substance dualism. A lot of substance dualists don't feel the need to think of "souls" or "minds" as so radically and extremely different from each other because they don't hold to Descartes ontology. He thought they were so radically different because he held that there was one essential property of matter and that was "extension". Some substance dualists even have "minds/souls" having things normally thought of as physical properties.

Yes, it seems as if the key premise in the Introspection Argument is that dualism is false. However, if "dualistic interaction" is false, then Monistic Idealism seems to entail.
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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12/28/2013 12:33:54 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:14:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:08:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 11:56:23 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

That's only an argument against Cartesian dualism. It doesn't touch other forms of dualism like Stewart Goetz's, or E.J. Lowe's (which is appropriately called "non-cartesian dualism", or William Hasker's, etc...

Are you referring to Property Dualism? Sorry if I am mistaken.

A property dualism would agreed that consciousness arises from processes of the brain. They just wouldn't agree that it is identical to brain states.

I mean other forms of substance dualism. A lot of substance dualists don't feel the need to think of "souls" or "minds" as so radically and extremely different from each other because they don't hold to Descartes ontology. He thought they were so radically different because he held that there was one essential property of matter and that was "extension". Some substance dualists even have "minds/souls" having things normally thought of as physical properties.

You should watch the video I posted by Inspired Philosophy with regards to the Introspection Argument, and tell me where you think the sub-argument against dualism goes wrong (I'm sure you would have something to say as a dualist yourself). The video dedicates a fair amount of time arguing against substance dualism and property dualism, but it seems possible they the video may have missed some key points.
InvictusManeo
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12/28/2013 12:57:53 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
A strange philosophy perhaps, but it makes sense. Even the idea of materialism is a concept of the mind. I remember considering idealism as far back as 2005, when I first stumbled upon this quote from Carl Sagan:

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

I mean idealism is arguably already proven by Quantum Mechanics. Before QM, Einstein crafted his E=MC2 theory which supposes matter is not solid but is fluid energy. Quantum mechanics revolves around matter having a fluid energy structure, meaning solids are just perception. Then you have String Theory which says that matter and energy are actually modes of vibration of invisible string-like structures. That would mean the whole universe is probably just made up of notes of music (hello the Silmarillion :D), but our perception grants us that we see the universe as the universe rather than hearing it as music - so it's all down to perception. Another proof is the double-slit experiment, where an electron beam is passed through 2 slits but exhibits a wave-like structure.

I think where idealism becomes dangerous is where the natural question that follows is "what should I do?" and most people would take idealism to mean that all life is somehow meaningless. That question is always attached to us psychologically, anyway, but most people have methods in place to keep it at bay (like calling the entire question an is/ought fallacy, for example, or appealing to the authority of scripture, yada yada). So the problem of epistemological action is deemed as non-important because the issue is already resolved in their minds. But the way that people solve these problems can be so flawed (religion, I'm looking at you) that - once examined - is an un-examined life worth living? If it isn't then there are million and potentially billions of people just, meandering through life, thinking they know what to do when they don't even know what they know.

I guess my point is the problem presents itself in how one would decide which action in life to take. Say you have two twins. One is an idealist, the other a realist. The idealist could decide that well, since he is nothing but a brain in a vacuum he should just give up because any action is inherently meaningless. While the realist figures that his action in life is of utmost importance. Most people could not handle this philosophy because considering the nature of one's attitude about the reality of life needs a great degree of care, since establishing any kind of attitude predicates how one operates in the world. Any idealist I have met definitely acts different than their realist counterparts.

The first Matrix movie should be mandatory for any philosophy class.
InvictusManeo
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12/28/2013 12:59:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Maybe the reason why idealists aren't as pervasive as realists is that Quantum Mechanics is so f*cking hard to understand, lol.
popculturepooka
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12/28/2013 1:00:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:33:54 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:14:02 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:08:09 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 11:56:23 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

That's only an argument against Cartesian dualism. It doesn't touch other forms of dualism like Stewart Goetz's, or E.J. Lowe's (which is appropriately called "non-cartesian dualism", or William Hasker's, etc...

Are you referring to Property Dualism? Sorry if I am mistaken.

A property dualism would agreed that consciousness arises from processes of the brain. They just wouldn't agree that it is identical to brain states.

I mean other forms of substance dualism. A lot of substance dualists don't feel the need to think of "souls" or "minds" as so radically and extremely different from each other because they don't hold to Descartes ontology. He thought they were so radically different because he held that there was one essential property of matter and that was "extension". Some substance dualists even have "minds/souls" having things normally thought of as physical properties.

You should watch the video I posted by Inspired Philosophy with regards to the Introspection Argument, and tell me where you think the sub-argument against dualism goes wrong (I'm sure you would have something to say as a dualist yourself). The video dedicates a fair amount of time arguing against substance dualism and property dualism, but it seems possible they the video may have missed some key points.

I will.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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InvictusManeo
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12/28/2013 1:05:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

Thinking rationally about the issue of consciousness, how could it possibly just be a result of the brain when everything in life interacts with everything else? The human brain is not a separate entity from the universe on a quantum level, so I don't buy it. I can't but it. That's not to suggest that consciousness can be carried over as we know it into the universe (i.e our memories, personalities) because THAT would seem impossible.

Well, unless the entire universe is just a computer program, then I guess it is possible :P
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/28/2013 1:27:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:57:53 PM, InvictusManeo wrote:
A strange philosophy perhaps, but it makes sense. Even the idea of materialism is a concept of the mind. I remember considering idealism as far back as 2005, when I first stumbled upon this quote from Carl Sagan:

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

I mean idealism is arguably already proven by Quantum Mechanics. Before QM, Einstein crafted his E=MC2 theory which supposes matter is not solid but is fluid energy. Quantum mechanics revolves around matter having a fluid energy structure, meaning solids are just perception. Then you have String Theory which says that matter and energy are actually modes of vibration of invisible string-like structures. That would mean the whole universe is probably just made up of notes of music (hello the Silmarillion :D), but our perception grants us that we see the universe as the universe rather than hearing it as music - so it's all down to perception. Another proof is the double-slit experiment, where an electron beam is passed through 2 slits but exhibits a wave-like structure.

Yes, the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics gives us sufficient reason to think the external world is, if not real, not what it seems (I believe the Copenhagen Interpretation is correct). This seems to be what Idealism predicts, so Idealism fits well with modern quantum theory for sure.


I think where idealism becomes dangerous is where the natural question that follows is "what should I do?" and most people would take idealism to mean that all life is somehow meaningless.

I don't see how. If a God exists, and we are part of his mind, then we might serve his purpose. As long as all is mind, minds, or or mind "stuff", I don't see a problem with us having a purpose. If you are an Atheistic idealist (which is one who thinks only our minds exist but not an ultimate mind), perhaps there is no purpose or meaning. However, this is the most reasonable conclusion with regards to any Atheistic philosophy.

That question is always attached to us psychologically, anyway, but most people have methods in place to keep it at bay (like calling the entire question an is/ought fallacy, for example, or appealing to the authority of scripture, yada yada). So the problem of epistemological action is deemed as non-important because the issue is already resolved in their minds. But the way that people solve these problems can be so flawed (religion, I'm looking at you) that - once examined - is an un-examined life worth living? If it isn't then there are million and potentially billions of people just, meandering through life, thinking they know what to do when they don't even know what they know.

I guess my point is the problem presents itself in how one would decide which action in life to take. Say you have two twins. One is an idealist, the other a realist. The idealist could decide that well, since he is nothing but a brain in a vacuum he should just give up because any action is inherently meaningless.

I don't see how any of that follows. And Idealists that I know don't believe that we are nothing but brains in a vacuum. Idealists believe that all is mind, minds, or mind "stuff", like information that makes up the mind. All your perceptions of matter, only prove that you have have a certain perception (the perception of the matter). It doesn't prove the matter.

It is not clear how this lowers the meaning of life in contrast to realism.

While the realist figures that his action in life is of utmost importance. Most people could not handle this philosophy because considering the nature of one's attitude about the reality of life needs a great degree of care, since establishing any kind of attitude predicates how one operates in the world. Any idealist I have met definitely acts different than their realist counterparts.

The first Matrix movie should be mandatory for any philosophy class.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/28/2013 1:30:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 1:05:17 PM, InvictusManeo wrote:
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

Thinking rationally about the issue of consciousness, how could it possibly just be a result of the brain when everything in life interacts with everything else?

I hate to break it to you, but the majority position in the philosophy of mind is that mind comes from a brain. Are you saying you think more rationally than the PhD's trained on the subject, and have expertise?

The human brain is not a separate entity from the universe on a quantum level, so I don't buy it.

Why would it have to be?

I can't but it. That's not to suggest that consciousness can be carried over as we know it into the universe (i.e our memories, personalities) because THAT would seem impossible.

Well, unless the entire universe is just a computer program, then I guess it is possible :P

Well, that may be. Digital Physics and the Holographic Principle seems to point in that direction.
InvictusManeo
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12/28/2013 1:38:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 1:27:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

With regards to how idealism is risky due to it's nihilistic implications, people like structure, order. They like having purpose and a clear-cut definition of reality. With idealism there is no 'clear cut' because it raises all manner of philosophical quandaries not limited to "what to do with life" but where we come from, is life all just a game? If the world I perceive is just an illusion then why do anything at all? I could just get lost in my mind and create my own reality.

Probably one of the first real idealists I ever met (as in I was explicitly aware of his idealism philosophy) was a heroin addict. Not that I am saying all idealists would suffer to derive meaning from having an idealist philosophy, just that it is such a philosophy whereby you are entirely free to create your own meaning. To define anything as you see fit. And this is counter to what most people need to feel happy in life. It's also counter to finding any congruency with humanity at large because we all need a unifier, and if our unifier is "well everything but your consciousness is an illusion" then that is not preferable over religion, say, which gives all people a specific code to live by.

Even most hardcore idealists cling to some notion of god, or an afterlife like you say. So even in our idealism we still search for a universal truth to life, when there may be none. A certain level of nihilism is implicated with idealism.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/28/2013 1:42:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 1:38:51 PM, InvictusManeo wrote:
At 12/28/2013 1:27:43 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:

With regards to how idealism is risky due to it's nihilistic implications, people like structure, order. They like having purpose and a clear-cut definition of reality. With idealism there is no 'clear cut' because it raises all manner of philosophical quandaries not limited to "what to do with life" but where we come from, is life all just a game? If the world I perceive is just an illusion then why do anything at all? I could just get lost in my mind and create my own reality.

That wouldn't falsify Idealism, it would just be an unfortunate consequence of it.


Probably one of the first real idealists I ever met (as in I was explicitly aware of his idealism philosophy) was a heroin addict. Not that I am saying all idealists would suffer to derive meaning from having an idealist philosophy, just that it is such a philosophy whereby you are entirely free to create your own meaning. To define anything as you see fit. And this is counter to what most people need to feel happy in life. It's also counter to finding any congruency with humanity at large because we all need a unifier, and if our unifier is "well everything but your consciousness is an illusion" then that is not preferable over religion, say, which gives all people a specific code to live by.

Theistic Idealism entails meaning.


Even most hardcore idealists cling to some notion of god, or an afterlife like you say. So even in our idealism we still search for a universal truth to life, when there may be none. A certain level of nihilism is implicated with idealism.

Only Atheistic Idealism. But isn't some sort of Nihilism implied by Atheism anyway? Isn't Idealism just a huge red-herring in your argument?
InvictusManeo
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12/28/2013 1:45:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 1:30:12 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
I hate to break it to you, but the majority position in the philosophy of mind is that mind comes from a brain. Are you saying you think more rationally than the PhD's trained on the subject, and have expertise?

I mean is it just solely a function of the brain? There has to be some interaction of the brain with external forces, or else consciousness cannot arise. This is where I dislike the thinking of consciousness as just a product of the brain.

If all of reality is essentially different systems of information interacting, it seems entirely possible that consciousness itself is (part of) a kind of information system. The brain may just be a property that is wired to intercept consciousness.

I don't have any peer-reviewed science to back up what I say. I'm just pondering here. I'm just thinking, Stan.
InvictusManeo
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12/28/2013 1:49:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 1:42:02 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
That wouldn't falsify Idealism, it would just be an unfortunate consequence of it.

I'm not attempting to falsify idealism, because I would consider myself an idealist. To an extent anyway.

Only Atheistic Idealism. But isn't some sort of Nihilism implied by Atheism anyway? Isn't Idealism just a huge red-herring in your argument?

Well, as to your first question, no. Because one can be an atheist and still believe in something while it may not be a creator god. As for your second question, my argument is that idealism is probably true, just that it carries certain implications for the majority of people that we'd need to consider in our approach to discussing it. We'd need to find a way to give meaning to people whilst taking all meaning away.
Noumena
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12/28/2013 6:45:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 10:22:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM, Noumena wrote:
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.

Not really. If Idealism is true, then what makes up the "I" is consciousness.

Replacing one ambiguity for another solves nothing.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/28/2013 7:23:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 6:45:44 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/28/2013 10:22:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM, Noumena wrote:
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.

Not really. If Idealism is true, then what makes up the "I" is consciousness.

Replacing one ambiguity for another solves nothing.

Consciousness is understood as self-awareness, or a harnessed experience, or a collection of experiences and perceptions over time. Consciousness doesn't seem that ambiguous at all. Matter, that seems to be the real mystery!
Ore_Ele
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12/28/2013 7:37:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:57:53 PM, InvictusManeo wrote:
A strange philosophy perhaps, but it makes sense. Even the idea of materialism is a concept of the mind. I remember considering idealism as far back as 2005, when I first stumbled upon this quote from Carl Sagan:

"Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself."

I mean idealism is arguably already proven by Quantum Mechanics. Before QM, Einstein crafted his E=MC2 theory which supposes matter is not solid but is fluid energy. Quantum mechanics revolves around matter having a fluid energy structure, meaning solids are just perception. Then you have String Theory which says that matter and energy are actually modes of vibration of invisible string-like structures. That would mean the whole universe is probably just made up of notes of music (hello the Silmarillion :D), but our perception grants us that we see the universe as the universe rather than hearing it as music - so it's all down to perception. Another proof is the double-slit experiment, where an electron beam is passed through 2 slits but exhibits a wave-like structure.

I think where idealism becomes dangerous is where the natural question that follows is "what should I do?" and most people would take idealism to mean that all life is somehow meaningless. That question is always attached to us psychologically, anyway, but most people have methods in place to keep it at bay (like calling the entire question an is/ought fallacy, for example, or appealing to the authority of scripture, yada yada). So the problem of epistemological action is deemed as non-important because the issue is already resolved in their minds. But the way that people solve these problems can be so flawed (religion, I'm looking at you) that - once examined - is an un-examined life worth living? If it isn't then there are million and potentially billions of people just, meandering through life, thinking they know what to do when they don't even know what they know.

I guess my point is the problem presents itself in how one would decide which action in life to take. Say you have two twins. One is an idealist, the other a realist. The idealist could decide that well, since he is nothing but a brain in a vacuum he should just give up because any action is inherently meaningless. While the realist figures that his action in life is of utmost importance. Most people could not handle this philosophy because considering the nature of one's attitude about the reality of life needs a great degree of care, since establishing any kind of attitude predicates how one operates in the world. Any idealist I have met definitely acts different than their realist counterparts.

The first Matrix movie should be mandatory for any philosophy class.

I'm gonna have to stop you mid-way through this. QM and string do not prove idealism in any way. While they show (at least QM shows, string is still working out the kinks) that matter is merely another form of energy, they in no way show nor suggest that these energies (or vibrations in the form of springs) originate from within the mind.

I also need to point out that any idealist being honest has to admit that just as there is no way to prove that anything does exist outside of our minds, there is no way to prove that any OTHER mind can exist. As Descartes said, I think, therefore I am. This is a proof to no one other than the thinker. This is why idealism cuts any value out from other people, since we cannot know that they truly exist outside of our own mind. It would be inconsistent to hold that realism is false because it cannot be proven, but not that other people exist, since they also cannot be proven.

The last thing I want to point out actually goes back to the OP, (and this might be in one of the variations of Dualism, I'm not up to date on all the micro-variations) but while we cannot show that there is a way for the mind to link to the physical world does not mean that there isn't. There are still a lot of things that we do not know. It is possible that the answer does lie within string and the multiple dimensions implied by that theory. Those may be something that connects the two. It might be something else. But it is important to realize that the lack of evidence is not evidence of lack (or however that phrase goes).
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Noumena
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12/29/2013 3:31:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 7:23:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 6:45:44 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/28/2013 10:22:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM, Noumena wrote:
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.

Not really. If Idealism is true, then what makes up the "I" is consciousness.

Replacing one ambiguity for another solves nothing.

Consciousness is understood as self-awareness, or a harnessed experience, or a collection of experiences and perceptions over time. Consciousness doesn't seem that ambiguous at all. Matter, that seems to be the real mystery!

My god this guy has consciousness figured out.

http://31.media.tumblr.com...
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
Rational_Thinker9119
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12/29/2013 8:19:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/29/2013 3:31:28 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/28/2013 7:23:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 6:45:44 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/28/2013 10:22:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM, Noumena wrote:
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.

Not really. If Idealism is true, then what makes up the "I" is consciousness.

Replacing one ambiguity for another solves nothing.

Consciousness is understood as self-awareness, or a harnessed experience, or a collection of experiences and perceptions over time. Consciousness doesn't seem that ambiguous at all. Matter, that seems to be the real mystery!

My god this guy has consciousness figured out.

http://31.media.tumblr.com...

Are you saying my description of consciousness is false?
UserNameThatIsBeingTyped
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12/29/2013 9:18:17 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 7:37:20 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
I also need to point out that any idealist being honest has to admit that just as there is no way to prove that anything does exist outside of our minds, there is no way to prove that any OTHER mind can exist. As Descartes said, I think, therefore I am. This is a proof to no one other than the thinker. This is why idealism cuts any value out from other people, since we cannot know that they truly exist outside of our own mind. It would be inconsistent to hold that realism is false because it cannot be proven, but not that other people exist, since they also cannot be proven.

The idea of proof presupposes the idea of both the mind and the truth. There is no truth before accepting the premises of logic performed on a perception of reality, thus there cannot be proof (a proof proves a truth). In the objectivist's tradition these premises are thus called axioms.

How many times will people go in circles about proving everything in metaphysics or epistemology? They make metaphysical and epistemological assumptions by even valuing proof over non-proof.
Really ADreamOfLiberty
Noumena
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12/31/2013 5:28:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/29/2013 8:19:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/29/2013 3:31:28 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/28/2013 7:23:10 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 6:45:44 PM, Noumena wrote:
At 12/28/2013 10:22:09 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 12/28/2013 3:14:54 AM, Noumena wrote:
You cannot doubt the existence of yer own mind. But what composes this "You", "I", "self" or whatever is simply swept under the rug.

Not really. If Idealism is true, then what makes up the "I" is consciousness.

Replacing one ambiguity for another solves nothing.

Consciousness is understood as self-awareness, or a harnessed experience, or a collection of experiences and perceptions over time. Consciousness doesn't seem that ambiguous at all. Matter, that seems to be the real mystery!

My god this guy has consciousness figured out.

http://31.media.tumblr.com...

Are you saying my description of consciousness is false?

Not necessarily. I just see 'description' of such a thing in a different light. If you see it that way and think it explains or describes comsciousmess in an acceptable manner that's fine too; I would just go about it differently.
: At 5/13/2014 7:05:20 PM, Crescendo wrote:
: The difference is that the gay movement is currently pushing their will on Churches, as shown in the link to gay marriage in Denmark. Meanwhile, the Inquisition ended several centuries ago.
PureX
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1/4/2014 1:50:09 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/28/2013 12:40:00 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
A strange philosophy indeed, but there are some interesting arguments for it.

An interesting argument I heard for idealism is that dualist interactions between the immaterial mind and material body cannot occur. To quote philosopher Austin Dacy:

"Souls(or minds) are thought of as purely non-physical, they can't be weighed, split in half, heated or cooled, they lack mass, electric charge and so on"but how could they possibly have a cause and effect relationship with bodies that are said to have these, and only these physical properties?" - Austin dacey

Thus, to account for this apparent interaction, either the matter my physical body is composed of (and all matter and fundamentally) is an illusion, or my mind is an illusion. However, as philosopher Descartes famously said:

"I think, therefore I am" - Rene Descartes

To quote Atheistic Neuroscientist Sam Harris

"Consciousness is one thing that cannot be an illusion" - Sam Harris

Your mind is not doutable, because to doubt it is to presupposes that you are capable of doubt in the first place; which presupposes a mind. However, matter is doutable. Thus, all is mind and mental, and there is no matter. This is because if there is matter and stuff like material atoms independent of perceptions, then this means there are neurons and synapses causing my conscious states. However, based on dualism being false (things like neurons and synapses cannot have a causal relationship with consciousness), this is impossible. One has to go out the window, but I know I experience, and this is the basis for all knowledge. Thus, everything is just ideas or mind "stuff".

This has some interesting theistic implications potentially. Ironically, most Atheists would accept that dualism is false. And it certainly seems that we are more certain about our consciousness existing than anything else. Thus material reality cannot be real, because if it is then it would have to have a causal relationship with my consciousness (which is impossible).

I don't accept this argument, because there are escape routes potentially. The only ways out it seems would be to find some convincing solution to the interaction problem and save dualism, or say that consciousness doesn"t exist, or is just a process of the brain.

I don't really know what you're talking about. But I'm interested never-the-less.

It seems to me:
That we think is undoubtable. What we think, however, is ever suspect. And thus begins the paradox.

"Duality" is an illusion created in our minds by the way our minds work: compare/contrast/establish, compare/contrast/establish, compare/contrast/establish ... it's how we "understand" ... everything.

So what is an 'ideal'? I'd have to guess that it's a higher form of "established" reality, or truth; to us. What is "idealism"? Living by those higher forms of established truth?

If so, I'd have to say we're pretty much all idealists, just by the way our human brains function.