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Critique My Philosophy of Life?

Philosofer123
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3/3/2014 8:27:28 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com...

http://www.scribd.com...

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!
Philosofer123
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3/5/2014 9:56:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/5/2014 9:55:10 PM, Hematite12 wrote:
I'll read it tomorrow, no time tonight :D

Thanks, Hematite12. I look forward to your comments.
zmikecuber
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3/6/2014 9:55:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/3/2014 8:27:28 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com...

http://www.scribd.com...

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

I disagree with you on practically everything, but I was very glad to see Mackie on your reading list. While I don't think his critiques of classical theistic arguments quite succeed, they're much better than most.

What's your position in the philosophy of mind area? You may have said that in the paper, but I just skim-read it.
"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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3/6/2014 10:02:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/3/2014 8:27:28 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com...

http://www.scribd.com...

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

Also, your arguments against the soul are pretty bad in my opinion.

1. Brain trauma affecting the soul.

Well the typical substance dualist response would be: An expert violinist can't play a broken violin.

2. The interaction problem.

I do think this is a big road block to dualism, but this seemed more like an argument from ignorance. Also, one could take the position of epiphenomenalism, or occasionalism, or parallelism.

Furthermore, this doesn't refute the existence of the soul, it merely shows it to be impossible to interact with a completely different substance. So if you accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind, and it cannot interact with physical matter, it follows there is no physical matter as such, and that all is mind. Aka idealism.

This also makes sense, because if the world is "mind stuff" and is independent of our minds, then the world must exist in a higher mind, namely that of God.

3. Evolution.

This is also bad in my opinion. You look, and see: Hey, evolution can't make the soul, or immaterial mind, without God, so there must be no immaterial mind/soul. I look and I say: Evolution cannot create the soul, or immaterial mind without God, so there must be a God.
"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
Posts: 4,093
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3/6/2014 10:07:54 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/3/2014 8:27:28 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com...

http://www.scribd.com...

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

Also, how would you reply to this argument:

P1: If free will is metaphysically impossible, then it's impossible to even experience the illusion of it.
P2: If it is impossible to experience the illusion of free will, then we do not experience the illusion of free will.
P3: We do experience (at least) the illusion of free will.
C1: Free will is not metaphysically impossible.
P4: If free will is not metaphysically impossible, then free-will is the best explanation for what we experience.
C2: Free-will is perfectly possible, and best explains our experience.
"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."
Philosofer123
Posts: 12
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3/6/2014 1:47:06 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 9:55:15 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

I disagree with you on practically everything, but I was very glad to see Mackie on your reading list. While I don't think his critiques of classical theistic arguments quite succeed, they're much better than most.

What's your position in the philosophy of mind area? You may have said that in the paper, but I just skim-read it.

Thank you for your feedback, zmikecuber.

I take no positions on philosophy of mind other than what is in the document. As you know, I believe that it is highly implausible that immaterial souls exist.
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 2:08:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 10:02:19 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

Also, your arguments against the soul are pretty bad in my opinion.

1. Brain trauma affecting the soul.

Well the typical substance dualist response would be: An expert violinist can't play a broken violin.

Recall what is in the document: "The fact that brain trauma and changes in brain chemistry can fundamentally alter one's personality and character is evidence against the existence of an immaterial soul, if one's soul is meant to house one's personality and character."

The "broken violin" analogy is weak and does not significantly reduce the force of my argument. A soul with a kind and selfless character acting upon even a severely defective brain would not produce selfish and mean behavior.

2. The interaction problem.

I do think this is a big road block to dualism, but this seemed more like an argument from ignorance. Also, one could take the position of epiphenomenalism, or occasionalism, or parallelism.

Regarding epiphenomenalism, it is highly implausible that a causally inert soul would be produced by evolution. If you believe that God created souls, then you must address the atheism section of my document.

Occasionalism and parallelism assume the existence of God, which I have shown to be highly implausible. If you wish to invoke God, then you need to address the atheism section of my document.

Furthermore, this doesn't refute the existence of the soul, it merely shows it to be impossible to interact with a completely different substance. So if you accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind, and it cannot interact with physical matter, it follows there is no physical matter as such, and that all is mind. Aka idealism.

I do not accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind. I am agnostic on whether the mind is material or immaterial.

This also makes sense, because if the world is "mind stuff" and is independent of our minds, then the world must exist in a higher mind, namely that of God.

Again, if you are going to invoke God, then you must address the atheism section of my document.

3. Evolution.

This is also bad in my opinion. You look, and see: Hey, evolution can't make the soul, or immaterial mind, without God, so there must be no immaterial mind/soul. I look and I say: Evolution cannot create the soul, or immaterial mind without God, so there must be a God.

Once again, if you are going to invoke God, you must address the atheism section of my document. Also, you have not produced any arguments or evidence in favor of the existence of immaterial souls, without which your argument cannot succeed.
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 2:11:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 10:07:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

Also, how would you reply to this argument:

P1: If free will is metaphysically impossible, then it's impossible to even experience the illusion of it.
P2: If it is impossible to experience the illusion of free will, then we do not experience the illusion of free will.
P3: We do experience (at least) the illusion of free will.
C1: Free will is not metaphysically impossible.
P4: If free will is not metaphysically impossible, then free-will is the best explanation for what we experience.
C2: Free-will is perfectly possible, and best explains our experience.

I would question P1. Why is it not possible to experience the illusion of something that is metaphysically impossible?
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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3/6/2014 2:21:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 2:08:57 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 10:02:19 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

Also, your arguments against the soul are pretty bad in my opinion.

1. Brain trauma affecting the soul.

Well the typical substance dualist response would be: An expert violinist can't play a broken violin.

Recall what is in the document: "The fact that brain trauma and changes in brain chemistry can fundamentally alter one's personality and character is evidence against the existence of an immaterial soul, if one's soul is meant to house one's personality and character."

The "broken violin" analogy is weak and does not significantly reduce the force of my argument. A soul with a kind and selfless character acting upon even a severely defective brain would not produce selfish and mean behavior.


I don't see how it does. The soul is nothing else other than the "self." Obviously the functioning of the self is inherently connected to the body.

2. The interaction problem.

I do think this is a big road block to dualism, but this seemed more like an argument from ignorance. Also, one could take the position of epiphenomenalism, or occasionalism, or parallelism.

Regarding epiphenomenalism, it is highly implausible that a causally inert soul would be produced by evolution. If you believe that God created souls, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


Not really. This could be an argument for God. If we argue that the soul exists, and that this cannot be created by any physical process, then it must be created by a non-physical process. I'm not assuming God exists in any way.

Occasionalism and parallelism assume the existence of God, which I have shown to be highly implausible. If you wish to invoke God, then you need to address the atheism section of my document.

Furthermore, this doesn't refute the existence of the soul, it merely shows it to be impossible to interact with a completely different substance. So if you accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind, and it cannot interact with physical matter, it follows there is no physical matter as such, and that all is mind. Aka idealism.

I do not accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind. I am agnostic on whether the mind is material or immaterial.


I'll give you a few:

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of p-zombies (brain existing while mind does not.)
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

Another...

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of the mind existing without the brain.
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

Yet another...

P1: IF the mental states I experience are identical to neurons, THEN every time I introspect I see neurons.
P2: I do not see neurons when I introspect.
C: The mental states I experience are not neurons.

Intentionality:
P1: Nothing physical has intentionality.
P2: The mind has intentionality.
C: The mind is not physical.

P1: Whatever is physical is particular.
P2: Some of our thoughts are non-particular
C: Some of our thoughts are non-physical.

These are good arguments to believe that the mind is not physical. On the other hand, if you want us to believe the mind IS physical, you have to present us with arguments to believe that is the case. You haven't presented one argument, whilst I've presented five.

Thus, the mind is probably not physical.

This also makes sense, because if the world is "mind stuff" and is independent of our minds, then the world must exist in a higher mind, namely that of God.

Again, if you are going to invoke God, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


No, I'm not invoking God, I'm giving an argument for him. If the mind is immaterial, and physical matter cannot interact with mind stuff, then there isn't any physical matter. Thus the world is "mind stuff." Thus it requires something like a mind to exist in. And consequently God exists.

3. Evolution.

This is also bad in my opinion. You look, and see: Hey, evolution can't make the soul, or immaterial mind, without God, so there must be no immaterial mind/soul. I look and I say: Evolution cannot create the soul, or immaterial mind without God, so there must be a God.

Once again, if you are going to invoke God, you must address the atheism section of my document. Also, you have not produced any arguments or evidence in favor of the existence of immaterial souls, without which your argument cannot succeed.

See above. You've not presented good arguments to show that the mind is material. I challenge you to do so. Showing that all our experiences, thoughts, beliefs, desires, etc. are all actually just physical matter is extremely hard to do.
"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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3/6/2014 2:22:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 2:11:01 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 10:07:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

Also, how would you reply to this argument:

P1: If free will is metaphysically impossible, then it's impossible to even experience the illusion of it.
P2: If it is impossible to experience the illusion of free will, then we do not experience the illusion of free will.
P3: We do experience (at least) the illusion of free will.
C1: Free will is not metaphysically impossible.
P4: If free will is not metaphysically impossible, then free-will is the best explanation for what we experience.
C2: Free-will is perfectly possible, and best explains our experience.

I would question P1. Why is it not possible to experience the illusion of something that is metaphysically impossible?

It's like saying you've experienced a square-triangle. It seems that to experience something utterly impossible, and utterly inconceivable is impossible. Even to experience the illusion of such a thing is impossible.
"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."
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 3:15:20 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 2:21:23 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 3/6/2014 2:08:57 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 10:02:19 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

Also, your arguments against the soul are pretty bad in my opinion.

1. Brain trauma affecting the soul.

Well the typical substance dualist response would be: An expert violinist can't play a broken violin.

Recall what is in the document: "The fact that brain trauma and changes in brain chemistry can fundamentally alter one's personality and character is evidence against the existence of an immaterial soul, if one's soul is meant to house one's personality and character."

The "broken violin" analogy is weak and does not significantly reduce the force of my argument. A soul with a kind and selfless character acting upon even a severely defective brain would not produce selfish and mean behavior.


I don't see how it does. The soul is nothing else other than the "self." Obviously the functioning of the self is inherently connected to the body.

You have not addressed my criticism.

2. The interaction problem.

I do think this is a big road block to dualism, but this seemed more like an argument from ignorance. Also, one could take the position of epiphenomenalism, or occasionalism, or parallelism.

Regarding epiphenomenalism, it is highly implausible that a causally inert soul would be produced by evolution. If you believe that God created souls, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


Not really. This could be an argument for God. If we argue that the soul exists, and that this cannot be created by any physical process, then it must be created by a non-physical process. I'm not assuming God exists in any way.

Again, you have not addressed my criticism. And you are begging the question by assuming that the soul exists in your "argument" for God.

Occasionalism and parallelism assume the existence of God, which I have shown to be highly implausible. If you wish to invoke God, then you need to address the atheism section of my document.

Furthermore, this doesn't refute the existence of the soul, it merely shows it to be impossible to interact with a completely different substance. So if you accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind, and it cannot interact with physical matter, it follows there is no physical matter as such, and that all is mind. Aka idealism.

I do not accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind. I am agnostic on whether the mind is material or immaterial.


I'll give you a few:

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of p-zombies (brain existing while mind does not.)
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

In the literature, both P2 and P3 have been questioned.

Another...

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of the mind existing without the brain.
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

P2 may be questioned.

Yet another...

P1: IF the mental states I experience are identical to neurons, THEN every time I introspect I see neurons.
P2: I do not see neurons when I introspect.
C: The mental states I experience are not neurons.

No physicalist of which I am aware claims that mental states are "identical to neurons".

Intentionality:
P1: Nothing physical has intentionality.
P2: The mind has intentionality.
C: The mind is not physical.

Intentionality may be an emergent feature of a physical system.

P1: Whatever is physical is particular.
P2: Some of our thoughts are non-particular
C: Some of our thoughts are non-physical.

What do you mean by "is particular" in P1, and by "are non-particular" in P2?

These are good arguments to believe that the mind is not physical. On the other hand, if you want us to believe the mind IS physical, you have to present us with arguments to believe that is the case. You haven't presented one argument, whilst I've presented five.

As discussed above, I find serious flaws in each of your arguments.

I do not want you to believe that the mind is physical--as I stated before, I am agnostic on whether the mind is physical. That said, a couple of arguments for physicalism include the argument from methodological naturalism and the argument from the causal closure. Please see the entry on "Physicalism" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for detail.

Thus, the mind is probably not physical.

As discussed above, you have not made your case.

This also makes sense, because if the world is "mind stuff" and is independent of our minds, then the world must exist in a higher mind, namely that of God.

Again, if you are going to invoke God, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


No, I'm not invoking God, I'm giving an argument for him. If the mind is immaterial, and physical matter cannot interact with mind stuff, then there isn't any physical matter. Thus the world is "mind stuff." Thus it requires something like a mind to exist in. And consequently God exists.

As discussed above, you have not made the case that the mind is immaterial, so your argument for the existence of God fails.


3. Evolution.

This is also bad in my opinion. You look, and see: Hey, evolution can't make the soul, or immaterial mind, without God, so there must be no immaterial mind/soul. I look and I say: Evolution cannot create the soul, or immaterial mind without God, so there must be a God.

Once again, if you are going to invoke God, you must address the atheism section of my document. Also, you have not produced any arguments or evidence in favor of the existence of immaterial souls, without which your argument cannot succeed.

See above. You've not presented good arguments to show that the mind is material. I challenge you to do so. Showing that all our experiences, thoughts, beliefs, desires, etc. are all actually just physical matter is extremely hard to do.

Again, I am agnostic on whether the mind is material, and you have not successfully made the case that the mind is immaterial. As a result, your argument for the existence of God fails.
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 3:18:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 2:22:30 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
At 3/6/2014 2:11:01 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 10:07:54 AM, zmikecuber wrote:

Also, how would you reply to this argument:

P1: If free will is metaphysically impossible, then it's impossible to even experience the illusion of it.
P2: If it is impossible to experience the illusion of free will, then we do not experience the illusion of free will.
P3: We do experience (at least) the illusion of free will.
C1: Free will is not metaphysically impossible.
P4: If free will is not metaphysically impossible, then free-will is the best explanation for what we experience.
C2: Free-will is perfectly possible, and best explains our experience.

I would question P1. Why is it not possible to experience the illusion of something that is metaphysically impossible?

It's like saying you've experienced a square-triangle. It seems that to experience something utterly impossible, and utterly inconceivable is impossible. Even to experience the illusion of such a thing is impossible.

Rather than answer my question, you have just provided a very weak analogy and restated your highly questionable premise.
zmikecuber
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3/6/2014 4:03:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago

Recall what is in the document: "The fact that brain trauma and changes in brain chemistry can fundamentally alter one's personality and character is evidence against the existence of an immaterial soul, if one's soul is meant to house one's personality and character."

The "broken violin" analogy is weak and does not significantly reduce the force of my argument. A soul with a kind and selfless character acting upon even a severely defective brain would not produce selfish and mean behavior.


I don't see how it does. The soul is nothing else other than the "self." Obviously the functioning of the self is inherently connected to the body.

You have not addressed my criticism.


Lol, yes I did. Just because the person behaves differently, it doesn't follow from this that there is no soul, or no "self."

2. The interaction problem.

I do think this is a big road block to dualism, but this seemed more like an argument from ignorance. Also, one could take the position of epiphenomenalism, or occasionalism, or parallelism.

Regarding epiphenomenalism, it is highly implausible that a causally inert soul would be produced by evolution. If you believe that God created souls, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


Not really. This could be an argument for God. If we argue that the soul exists, and that this cannot be created by any physical process, then it must be created by a non-physical process. I'm not assuming God exists in any way.

Again, you have not addressed my criticism. And you are begging the question by assuming that the soul exists in your "argument" for God.


No, I'm not begging the question. The conclusion is that God exists... not that the soul exists. I've presented arguments below for the existence of an immaterial mind/soul. It's just false for you to imply otherwise.

Occasionalism and parallelism assume the existence of God, which I have shown to be highly implausible. If you wish to invoke God, then you need to address the atheism section of my document.

Furthermore, this doesn't refute the existence of the soul, it merely shows it to be impossible to interact with a completely different substance. So if you accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind, and it cannot interact with physical matter, it follows there is no physical matter as such, and that all is mind. Aka idealism.

I do not accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind. I am agnostic on whether the mind is material or immaterial.


I'll give you a few:

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of p-zombies (brain existing while mind does not.)
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

In the literature, both P2 and P3 have been questioned.


Yes. In literature, it's also been argued that they are true. What's your point?

Another...

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of the mind existing without the brain.
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

P2 may be questioned.


If something is metaphysically impossible, it's a non-thing. Consequently, it's impossible to conceive, since we can't fully conceive of a "non-thing."

Yet another...

P1: IF the mental states I experience are identical to neurons, THEN every time I introspect I see neurons.
P2: I do not see neurons when I introspect.
C: The mental states I experience are not neurons.

No physicalist of which I am aware claims that mental states are "identical to neurons".


So then what are mental states?

Intentionality:
P1: Nothing physical has intentionality.
P2: The mind has intentionality.
C: The mind is not physical.

Intentionality may be an emergent feature of a physical system.


How so? This is the whole view that the mind is like software, which I think John Searle debunks pretty well. The whole idea of intentionality isn't present in physical objects. Physical objects like letters are symbols which derive their intentionality from a mind.

P1: Whatever is physical is particular.
P2: Some of our thoughts are non-particular
C: Some of our thoughts are non-physical.

What do you mean by "is particular" in P1, and by "are non-particular" in P2?


Particular vs. universal. As in we can comprehend the universal concept of "triangle" but nothing physical is universal in this way.

These are good arguments to believe that the mind is not physical. On the other hand, if you want us to believe the mind IS physical, you have to present us with arguments to believe that is the case. You haven't presented one argument, whilst I've presented five.

As discussed above, I find serious flaws in each of your arguments.

I do not want you to believe that the mind is physical--as I stated before, I am agnostic on whether the mind is physical. That said, a couple of arguments for physicalism include the argument from methodological naturalism and the argument from the causal closure. Please see the entry on "Physicalism" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for detail.


I'll look if I get the chance.

Thus, the mind is probably not physical.

As discussed above, you have not made your case.

This also makes sense, because if the world is "mind stuff" and is independent of our minds, then the world must exist in a higher mind, namely that of God.

Again, if you are going to invoke God, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


No, I'm not invoking God, I'm giving an argument for him. If the mind is immaterial, and physical matter cannot interact with mind stuff, then there isn't any physical matter. Thus the world is "mind stuff." Thus it requires something like a mind to exist in. And consequently God exists.

As discussed above, you have not made the case that the mind is immaterial, so your argument for the existence of God fails.


3. Evolution.

This is also bad in my opinion. You look, and see: Hey, evolution can't make the soul, or immaterial mind, without God, so there must be no immaterial mind/soul. I look and I say: Evolution cannot create the soul, or immaterial mind without God, so there must be a God.

Once again, if you are going to invoke God, you must address the atheism section of my document. Also, you have not produced any arguments or evidence in favor of the existence of immaterial souls, without which your argument cannot succeed.

See above. You've not presented good arguments to show that the mind is material. I challenge you to do so. Showing that all our experiences, thoughts, beliefs, desires, etc. are all actually just physical matter is extremely hard to do.

Again, I am agnostic on whether the mind is material, and you have not successfully made the case that the mind is immaterial. As a result, your argument for the existence of God fails.

Well I think that there are good arguments to view that the mind is immaterial. You even seem to admit this, since you said that the mind isn't exactly the same as the physical matter. Even if we are property dualists, the mind is still immaterial.
"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."
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 4:30:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 4:03:13 PM, zmikecuber wrote:

You have not addressed my criticism.


Lol, yes I did. Just because the person behaves differently, it doesn't follow from this that there is no soul, or no "self."

Yes, it does follow, if the soul houses one's character and personality, and if one acts with a different character and personality following brain trauma or changes in brain chemistry.

Again, you have not addressed my criticism. And you are begging the question by assuming that the soul exists in your "argument" for God.


No, I'm not begging the question. The conclusion is that God exists... not that the soul exists. I've presented arguments below for the existence of an immaterial mind/soul. It's just false for you to imply otherwise.

You have failed to make your case for the existence of an immaterial soul, so your argument for God fails.


Occasionalism and parallelism assume the existence of God, which I have shown to be highly implausible. If you wish to invoke God, then you need to address the atheism section of my document.

Furthermore, this doesn't refute the existence of the soul, it merely shows it to be impossible to interact with a completely different substance. So if you accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind, and it cannot interact with physical matter, it follows there is no physical matter as such, and that all is mind. Aka idealism.

I do not accept the arguments for the immateriality of the mind. I am agnostic on whether the mind is material or immaterial.


I'll give you a few:

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the brain to exist without the mind, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of p-zombies (brain existing while mind does not.)
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

In the literature, both P2 and P3 have been questioned.


Yes. In literature, it's also been argued that they are true. What's your point?

My point it that your argument is unconvincing, as you have not provided adequate support of P2 and P3.

Another...

P1: IF the mind and brain are the same thing, THEN it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain.
P2: IF it is metaphysically impossible for the mind to exist without the brain, THEN it is impossible to conceive of such a thing.
P3: We can conceive of the mind existing without the brain.
C: The mind and brain are not the same thing.

P2 may be questioned.


If something is metaphysically impossible, it's a non-thing. Consequently, it's impossible to conceive, since we can't fully conceive of a "non-thing."

You have added the word "fully", which is not in your original argument. Removing the word "fully" from your response, why can one not conceive of a "non-thing"?

Yet another...

P1: IF the mental states I experience are identical to neurons, THEN every time I introspect I see neurons.
P2: I do not see neurons when I introspect.
C: The mental states I experience are not neurons.

No physicalist of which I am aware claims that mental states are "identical to neurons".


So then what are mental states?

Different physicalist theories conceive of mental states differently. Please review the literature on physicalism.

Intentionality:
P1: Nothing physical has intentionality.
P2: The mind has intentionality.
C: The mind is not physical.

Intentionality may be an emergent feature of a physical system.


How so? This is the whole view that the mind is like software, which I think John Searle debunks pretty well. The whole idea of intentionality isn't present in physical objects. Physical objects like letters are symbols which derive their intentionality from a mind.

I am not interested in rehashing the literature on emergence. John Searle is not the final word on the issue.

P1: Whatever is physical is particular.
P2: Some of our thoughts are non-particular
C: Some of our thoughts are non-physical.

What do you mean by "is particular" in P1, and by "are non-particular" in P2?


Particular vs. universal. As in we can comprehend the universal concept of "triangle" but nothing physical is universal in this way.

P2 may then be questioned. What you are implying in your response is that some of our thoughts are ABOUT things that are non-particular, not that some of our thoughts ARE non-particular. If P2 is modified in this way, the argument becomes invalid.

These are good arguments to believe that the mind is not physical. On the other hand, if you want us to believe the mind IS physical, you have to present us with arguments to believe that is the case. You haven't presented one argument, whilst I've presented five.

As discussed above, I find serious flaws in each of your arguments.

I do not want you to believe that the mind is physical--as I stated before, I am agnostic on whether the mind is physical. That said, a couple of arguments for physicalism include the argument from methodological naturalism and the argument from the causal closure. Please see the entry on "Physicalism" in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for detail.


I'll look if I get the chance.

I look forward to your response. But even if you can refute these arguments, you have not made your case that the mind is immaterial, as all of your arguments for that position are flawed.

Thus, the mind is probably not physical.

As discussed above, you have not made your case.

This also makes sense, because if the world is "mind stuff" and is independent of our minds, then the world must exist in a higher mind, namely that of God.

Again, if you are going to invoke God, then you must address the atheism section of my document.


No, I'm not invoking God, I'm giving an argument for him. If the mind is immaterial, and physical matter cannot interact with mind stuff, then there isn't any physical matter. Thus the world is "mind stuff." Thus it requires something like a mind to exist in. And consequently God exists.

As discussed above, you have not made the case that the mind is immaterial, so your argument for the existence of God fails.


See above. You've not presented good arguments to show that the mind is material. I challenge you to do so. Showing that all our experiences, thoughts, beliefs, desires, etc. are all actually just physical matter is extremely hard to do.

Again, I am agnostic on whether the mind is material, and you have not successfully made the case that the mind is immaterial. As a result, your argument for the existence of God fails.

Well I think that there are good arguments to view that the mind is immaterial. You even seem to admit this, since you said that the mind isn't exactly the same as the physical matter. Even if we are property dualists, the mind is still immaterial."

As discussed above, you have not made your case that the mind is immaterial.
Somanycrates
Posts: 4
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3/6/2014 8:35:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/3/2014 8:27:28 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com...

http://www.scribd.com...

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

I find that your ideas on existentail skepticism are very close to the ideas of jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus (the book you cite is a reference to Camus main idea of absurdism) however these ideas become incoherent when free will is eliminated, the "existence precedes essence" of jean-Paul Satre or "the absurd freedom" of Albert Camus no longer hold any value if man cannot derive his own meaning from his meaningless universe, without free will that is impossible. Camus "The Myth of Sisyphus" touchs on this subject, I suggest you give it a read it's pretty great.
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 9:05:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 8:35:30 PM, Somanycrates wrote:

I find that your ideas on existentail skepticism are very close to the ideas of jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus (the book you cite is a reference to Camus main idea of absurdism) however these ideas become incoherent when free will is eliminated, the "existence precedes essence" of jean-Paul Satre or "the absurd freedom" of Albert Camus no longer hold any value if man cannot derive his own meaning from his meaningless universe, without free will that is impossible. Camus "The Myth of Sisyphus" touchs on this subject, I suggest you give it a read it's pretty great.

Thank you for your comments and reading suggestion. However, there is no conflict between my free will impossibilism and the other positions that I take, including existential skepticism. As defined in my document, existential skepticism is simply the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value. There is no conflict between this view and free will impossibilism.
Somanycrates
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3/6/2014 9:32:23 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 9:05:33 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 8:35:30 PM, Somanycrates wrote:

I find that your ideas on existentail skepticism are very close to the ideas of jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus (the book you cite is a reference to Camus main idea of absurdism) however these ideas become incoherent when free will is eliminated, the "existence precedes essence" of jean-Paul Satre or "the absurd freedom" of Albert Camus no longer hold any value if man cannot derive his own meaning from his meaningless universe, without free will that is impossible. Camus "The Myth of Sisyphus" touchs on this subject, I suggest you give it a read it's pretty great.

Thank you for your comments and reading suggestion. However, there is no conflict between my free will impossibilism and the other positions that I take, including existential skepticism. As defined in my document, existential skepticism is simply the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value. There is no conflict between this view and free will impossibilism.

You do say "However one's life may have subjective mYeaning, purpose and/or value" This idea is what is similar to the philosophers I mentioned and what is incompatible with free will impossiblism. Unless I misunderstand what you mean by "subjective meaning", I understand it to mean " meaning that the individual constructs or gives".
Philosofer123
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3/6/2014 10:01:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 9:32:23 PM, Somanycrates wrote:
At 3/6/2014 9:05:33 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 8:35:30 PM, Somanycrates wrote:

I find that your ideas on existentail skepticism are very close to the ideas of jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus (the book you cite is a reference to Camus main idea of absurdism) however these ideas become incoherent when free will is eliminated, the "existence precedes essence" of jean-Paul Satre or "the absurd freedom" of Albert Camus no longer hold any value if man cannot derive his own meaning from his meaningless universe, without free will that is impossible. Camus "The Myth of Sisyphus" touchs on this subject, I suggest you give it a read it's pretty great.

Thank you for your comments and reading suggestion. However, there is no conflict between my free will impossibilism and the other positions that I take, including existential skepticism. As defined in my document, existential skepticism is simply the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value. There is no conflict between this view and free will impossibilism.

You do say "However one's life may have subjective mYeaning, purpose and/or value" This idea is what is similar to the philosophers I mentioned and what is incompatible with free will impossiblism. Unless I misunderstand what you mean by "subjective meaning", I understand it to mean " meaning that the individual constructs or gives".

Yes, you may interpret it to mean that. But it is still completely compatible with free will impossibilism. Recall that I define free will as "that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's intentional actions". One may construct or give meaning to one's life without being ultimately responsible for doing so.
xXCryptoXx
Posts: 5,000
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3/6/2014 10:02:37 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/3/2014 8:27:28 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
Over the past few years, I have formulated my philosophy of life, a 13-page document that may be found at either of the following links:

https://docs.google.com...

http://www.scribd.com...

In the first half of the document, I present and defend the following positions: atheism, afterlife skepticism, free will impossibilism, moral skepticism, existential skepticism and negative hedonism. The second half of the document is devoted to ways to achieve and maintain peace of mind.

I have found the entire exercise to be very beneficial personally, and I hope that you will benefit from reading the document.

I am posting my philosophy to solicit feedback so that it may be improved. I welcome any constructive criticism that you may have.

Enjoy!

Its more fun to not be skeptical about things. Maybe not necessarily more logical, but certainly more fun.
Nolite Timere
Somanycrates
Posts: 4
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3/7/2014 10:04:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/6/2014 10:01:24 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 9:32:23 PM, Somanycrates wrote:
At 3/6/2014 9:05:33 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 8:35:30 PM, Somanycrates wrote:

I find that your ideas on existentail skepticism are very close to the ideas of jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus (the book you cite is a reference to Camus main idea of absurdism) however these ideas become incoherent when free will is eliminated, the "existence precedes essence" of jean-Paul Satre or "the absurd freedom" of Albert Camus no longer hold any value if man cannot derive his own meaning from his meaningless universe, without free will that is impossible. Camus "The Myth of Sisyphus" touchs on this subject, I suggest you give it a read it's pretty great.

Thank you for your comments and reading suggestion. However, there is no conflict between my free will impossibilism and the other positions that I take, including existential skepticism. As defined in my document, existential skepticism is simply the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value. There is no conflict between this view and free will impossibilism.

You do say "However one's life may have subjective mYeaning, purpose and/or value" This idea is what is similar to the philosophers I mentioned and what is incompatible with free will impossiblism. Unless I misunderstand what you mean by "subjective meaning", I understand it to mean " meaning that the individual constructs or gives".

Yes, you may interpret it to mean that. But it is still completely compatible with free will impossibilism. Recall that I define free will as "that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's intentional actions". One may construct or give meaning to one's life without being ultimately responsible for doing so.

With this view your essential an atheistic existentialist, which can be summed up by the phrase "existence precedes essence" so to say man first exists and then determines his purpose or essence. HE must determine his essence through the choices he freely makes. By removing free will man's essence becomes determined before his existence, even if you don't believe in hard determinism, it would become predetermined human nature that determines one's essence. As Sartre said in existentialism is a humanism "If, however existence truly does precede essence, man is responsible for what he is."

The chart given in this Wikipedia article is very helpful in determining what belief one has on the subject of meaning"http://en.m.wikipedia.org...
Philosofer123
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3/7/2014 12:23:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/7/2014 10:04:16 AM, Somanycrates wrote:
At 3/6/2014 10:01:24 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 9:32:23 PM, Somanycrates wrote:
At 3/6/2014 9:05:33 PM, Philosofer123 wrote:
At 3/6/2014 8:35:30 PM, Somanycrates wrote:

I find that your ideas on existentail skepticism are very close to the ideas of jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus (the book you cite is a reference to Camus main idea of absurdism) however these ideas become incoherent when free will is eliminated, the "existence precedes essence" of jean-Paul Satre or "the absurd freedom" of Albert Camus no longer hold any value if man cannot derive his own meaning from his meaningless universe, without free will that is impossible. Camus "The Myth of Sisyphus" touchs on this subject, I suggest you give it a read it's pretty great.

Thank you for your comments and reading suggestion. However, there is no conflict between my free will impossibilism and the other positions that I take, including existential skepticism. As defined in my document, existential skepticism is simply the view that it is highly implausible that life has inherent meaning, purpose or value. There is no conflict between this view and free will impossibilism.

You do say "However one's life may have subjective mYeaning, purpose and/or value" This idea is what is similar to the philosophers I mentioned and what is incompatible with free will impossiblism. Unless I misunderstand what you mean by "subjective meaning", I understand it to mean " meaning that the individual constructs or gives".

Yes, you may interpret it to mean that. But it is still completely compatible with free will impossibilism. Recall that I define free will as "that which is sufficient for one to be ultimately responsible for one's intentional actions". One may construct or give meaning to one's life without being ultimately responsible for doing so.

With this view your essential an atheistic existentialist, which can be summed up by the phrase "existence precedes essence" so to say man first exists and then determines his purpose or essence. HE must determine his essence through the choices he freely makes.

None of that follows from anything in my document. As I have stated: "One may construct or give meaning to one's life without being ultimately responsible for doing so." If you disagree, then please explain why this statement is false.