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The Problem of Consciousness

ethang5
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2/25/2015 9:55:06 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Author : Thomas Nagel

In September, Oxford University Press officially releases the hardcover version of a new book by renowned philosopher Thomas Nagel at New York University. It's a bombshell.
You read that right: The book's subtitle declares that "the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False."

Refreshingly, Nagel is not taken in by one-sided efforts to evade the arguments of intelligent design proponents by stigmatizing their presumed "religious beliefs." As Nagel points out, "the empirical arguments" offered by ID proponents "are of great interest in themselves." It's the evidence that matters, and it's the evidence that demands a response.

Nagel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize for his work in moral philosophy. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other institutions. He is one of America's top philosophers. Obviously, he also is a man of great courage and independence of thought.

Get ready for the book burning parties by defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. I wouldn't even be surprised if there is an effort to convince Oxford University Press to disown Nagel's book. So you might want to get the book while you can.
http://www.evolutionnews.org...

[The author] is a self-declared atheist who earned his PhD. in philosophy at Harvard, has been a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and for the last 28 years at New York University, and has published ten books and more than 60 articles.
http://www.apologetics.org...

Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...

Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?

Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).

Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...

Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.

But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...


I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.

Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?
Envisage
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2/25/2015 10:31:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 9:55:06 AM, ethang5 wrote:
Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Author : Thomas Nagel


In September, Oxford University Press officially releases the hardcover version of a new book by renowned philosopher Thomas Nagel at New York University. It's a bombshell.
You read that right: The book's subtitle declares that "the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False."

Refreshingly, Nagel is not taken in by one-sided efforts to evade the arguments of intelligent design proponents by stigmatizing their presumed "religious beliefs." As Nagel points out, "the empirical arguments" offered by ID proponents "are of great interest in themselves." It's the evidence that matters, and it's the evidence that demands a response.

Nagel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize for his work in moral philosophy. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other institutions. He is one of America's top philosophers. Obviously, he also is a man of great courage and independence of thought.

Get ready for the book burning parties by defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. I wouldn't even be surprised if there is an effort to convince Oxford University Press to disown Nagel's book. So you might want to get the book while you can.
http://www.evolutionnews.org...


[The author] is a self-declared atheist who earned his PhD. in philosophy at Harvard, has been a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and for the last 28 years at New York University, and has published ten books and more than 60 articles.
http://www.apologetics.org...


Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...


Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?


Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).


Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...


Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.


But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...


I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.


Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

1. Atheists are not committed to materialism/naturalism. Dualist and even idealist atheists exist just fine. Another common position is neutral monism
2. Not pursuaded there even is a [hard] problem of consciousness other than a difficulty in practice what is commonly associated with requiring detailed knowledge of medium-sized systems (computational power is insufficient to model the brain like we do molecular systems, and the brain cannot be generalised enough to do large scale averaging). Which is not a problem in principle
3. No argument in the OP has actually been provided to assert that physicalism is false, only argument by assertion
4. Clusterf*ck of teleological assumptions, ID and consciousness and even an attack on evolutiom = a brain dart of an OP. Stick to one thing at a time, as most atheists are going to object at every single presupposition in your case
R0b1Billion
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2/26/2015 12:09:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Consciousness, as Descartes showed, is the one thing we can be sure of. The "problem" of consciousness does not exist, it's the problem of the world around us that exists. The more we learn about physics, the more the universe seems like an illusion.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
Graincruncher
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2/26/2015 4:43:31 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The seat of consciousness is a problem in a similar fashion as where a holographic image is seated is a problem.
ethang5
Posts: 4,084
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2/26/2015 9:37:00 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 10:31:55 PM, Envisage wrote:
At 2/25/2015 9:55:06 AM, ethang5 wrote:

Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Author : Thomas Nagel

Refreshingly, Nagel is not taken in by one-sided efforts to evade the arguments of intelligent design proponents by stigmatizing their presumed "religious beliefs." As Nagel points out, "the empirical arguments" offered by ID proponents "are of great interest in themselves." It's the evidence that matters, and it's the evidence that demands a response.

Nagel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize for his work in moral philosophy. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other institutions. He is one of America's top philosophers. Obviously, he also is a man of great courage and independence of thought.

Get ready for the book burning parties by defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. I wouldn't even be surprised if there is an effort to convince Oxford University Press to disown Nagel's book. So you might want to get the book while you can.
http://www.evolutionnews.org...

[The author] is a self-declared atheist who earned his PhD. in philosophy at Harvard, has been a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and for the last 28 years at New York University, and has published ten books and more than 60 articles.
http://www.apologetics.org...

Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...

Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?

Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).

Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...

Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.

But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...

I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.

Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

1. Atheists are not committed to materialism/naturalism. Dualist and even idealist atheists exist just fine. Another common position is neutral monism

Ok then, the question is directed to those who are.

2. Not pursuaded there even is a [hard] problem of consciousness other than a difficulty in practice what is commonly associated with requiring detailed knowledge of medium-sized systems (computational power is insufficient to model the brain like we do molecular systems, and the brain cannot be generalised enough to do large scale averaging). Which is not a problem in principle

I don't think you understood Dr. Nagel's point.

3. No argument in the OP has actually been provided to assert that physicalism is false, only argument by assertion

Most of his contemporaries, even the ones who disagree, think his points are strong.

4. Clusterf*ck of teleological assumptions, ID and consciousness and even an attack on evolutiom = a brain dart of an OP. Stick to one thing at a time, as most atheists are going to object at every single presupposition in your case

Ok, but he didn't "attack" evolution.
Otokage
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2/26/2015 3:34:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 9:55:06 AM, ethang5 wrote:
Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

I do not agree with Nagel that we can't know what's like to be a bat. We can, but due to our limited technology, we can not experience it properly. The argument of Nagel relies entirely in our inhability to experience a bat existence, however if we were to create ie a cybernetic brain that can easily be wired or even has a powerful enough IA to wire itself, it could indeed be a bat if it wanted, as it would perfectly emulate the bat's experience.

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...

I don't see an argument here. Just unsupported assertions.

Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?

The fact that there is a clear relation between fitness and consciousness, already demonstrates consciousness is one of the most natural selected traits. So it would be counter-evolutionary if we were unsconscious.

Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).

Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...

As fanciful speculation, Nagel's book is fine, but as an argument for a debate, it's a disaster.

Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.

Hyper-rational? Science can only be faced with evidence. But so far there's none that supports Nagel line of thought.

But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...

I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.


Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism?
How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

I will tell you when someone presentes an actual problem of consciousness.
PolyCarp
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2/26/2015 4:33:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 4:43:31 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
The seat of consciousness is a problem in a similar fashion as where a holographic image is seated is a problem.

So you think consciousness is essentially illusory?
"Perhaps the atheist cannot find God for the same reason the thief cannot find a policeman"

--G.K Chesterton
sadolite
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2/26/2015 4:47:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Huh, didn't know consciousness was a problem. But then again anyone can find a problem with just about anything.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
zmikecuber
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2/26/2015 8:17:29 PM
Posted: 1 year ago


Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...


Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.


But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...

I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.


Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

1. Atheists are not committed to materialism/naturalism. Dualist and even idealist atheists exist just fine. Another common position is neutral monism
2. Not pursuaded there even is a [hard] problem of consciousness other than a difficulty in practice what is commonly associated with requiring detailed knowledge of medium-sized systems (computational power is insufficient to model the brain like we do molecular systems, and the brain cannot be generalised enough to do large scale averaging). Which is not a problem in principle
3. No argument in the OP has actually been provided to assert that physicalism is false, only argument by assertion
4. Clusterf*ck of teleological assumptions, ID and consciousness and even an attack on evolutiom = a brain dart of an OP. Stick to one thing at a time, as most atheists are going to object at every single presupposition in your case

You should read Mind and Cosmos. I read about half of it, but didn't finish it before it was due back to the library. All I can say is that it's extremely thorough and very very deep. Not a simple read.
"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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2/26/2015 8:18:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 4:47:28 PM, sadolite wrote:
Huh, didn't know consciousness was a problem. But then again anyone can find a problem with just about anything.

The problem is that the chemicals in the brain and the actual sensations we *feel* seem to be completely different. The problem is that physicalism has had trouble explaining how on earth what red looks like and some neurons in my brain could be the exact same thing.
"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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2/26/2015 8:19:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 12:09:03 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
Consciousness, as Descartes showed, is the one thing we can be sure of. The "problem" of consciousness does not exist, it's the problem of the world around us that exists. The more we learn about physics, the more the universe seems like an illusion.

The problem of consciousness is that its very hard to show that consciousness is physical matter. We can't quite put our fingers on *what* consciousness is.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Graincruncher
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2/27/2015 7:01:56 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 4:33:58 PM, PolyCarp wrote:
At 2/26/2015 4:43:31 AM, Graincruncher wrote:
The seat of consciousness is a problem in a similar fashion as where a holographic image is seated is a problem.

So you think consciousness is essentially illusory?

Pretty much. I think it's effectively a perspective issue.
Envisage
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2/27/2015 7:25:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Nagel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize for his work in moral philosophy. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other institutions. He is one of America's top philosophers. Obviously, he also is a man of great courage and independence of thought.

Get ready for the book burning parties by defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. I wouldn't even be surprised if there is an effort to convince Oxford University Press to disown Nagel's book. So you might want to get the book while you can.
http://www.evolutionnews.org...

[The author] is a self-declared atheist who earned his PhD. in philosophy at Harvard, has been a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and for the last 28 years at New York University, and has published ten books and more than 60 articles.
http://www.apologetics.org...

Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...

Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?

Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).

Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...

Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.

But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...

I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.

Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

1. Atheists are not committed to materialism/naturalism. Dualist and even idealist atheists exist just fine. Another common position is neutral monism

Ok then, the question is directed to those who are.

OP seemed to be blanket-addressed to atheists. Personally I would regard myself as a physicalist regarding the ontology of mind. I was just making the point that falsifying it wouldn't have much theological impact.

2. Not pursuaded there even is a [hard] problem of consciousness other than a difficulty in practice what is commonly associated with requiring detailed knowledge of medium-sized systems (computational power is insufficient to model the brain like we do molecular systems, and the brain cannot be generalised enough to do large scale averaging). Which is not a problem in principle

I don't think you understood Dr. Nagel's point.

Half of your OP attacks the explanatory power of materialistic souces, via. Attacking it in practice, not in princ

3. No argument in the OP has actually been provided to assert that physicalism is false, only argument by assertion

Most of his contemporaries, even the ones who disagree, think his points are strong.

But you haven't presented the points in your OP. You have only asserted they exist.

4. Clusterf*ck of teleological assumptions, ID and consciousness and even an attack on evolutiom = a brain dart of an OP. Stick to one thing at a time, as most atheists are going to object at every single presupposition in your case

Ok, but he didn't "attack" evolution.

He attacked it's explanatory power with regards to consciousness.
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2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
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2/27/2015 5:52:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 9:55:06 AM, ethang5 wrote:
Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.
Author : Thomas Nagel


In September, Oxford University Press officially releases the hardcover version of a new book by renowned philosopher Thomas Nagel at New York University. It's a bombshell.
You read that right: The book's subtitle declares that "the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False."

Refreshingly, Nagel is not taken in by one-sided efforts to evade the arguments of intelligent design proponents by stigmatizing their presumed "religious beliefs." As Nagel points out, "the empirical arguments" offered by ID proponents "are of great interest in themselves." It's the evidence that matters, and it's the evidence that demands a response.

Nagel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize for his work in moral philosophy. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other institutions. He is one of America's top philosophers. Obviously, he also is a man of great courage and independence of thought.

Get ready for the book burning parties by defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. I wouldn't even be surprised if there is an effort to convince Oxford University Press to disown Nagel's book. So you might want to get the book while you can.
http://www.evolutionnews.org...


[The author] is a self-declared atheist who earned his PhD. in philosophy at Harvard, has been a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and for the last 28 years at New York University, and has published ten books and more than 60 articles.
http://www.apologetics.org...


Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...


Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?


Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).


Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...


Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.


But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...


I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.


Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?
Atheist here. I'm not even sure there is a problem of consciousness. I suspect there isn't. What is consciousness? It seems that self aware is consciousness. How do we gain awareness? External physical inputs, touch, sight, sound, ext. We then have evolved a certain level of intelligence that applies reason to these inputs and we reason out these inputs and conclude we exist. I'm not sure there is any magic here. I'm not sure there is really a problem.
zmikecuber
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2/28/2015 8:40:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/27/2015 7:25:34 AM, Envisage wrote:
Nagel is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and recipient of the prestigious Balzan Prize for his work in moral philosophy. He has received fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other institutions. He is one of America's top philosophers. Obviously, he also is a man of great courage and independence of thought.

Get ready for the book burning parties by defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. I wouldn't even be surprised if there is an effort to convince Oxford University Press to disown Nagel's book. So you might want to get the book while you can.
http://www.evolutionnews.org...

[The author] is a self-declared atheist who earned his PhD. in philosophy at Harvard, has been a professor at U.C. Berkeley, Princeton, and for the last 28 years at New York University, and has published ten books and more than 60 articles.
http://www.apologetics.org...

Nagel is probably most widely known within the field of philosophy of mind as an advocate of the idea that consciousness and subjective experience cannot, at least with the contemporary understanding of physicalism, be satisfactorily explained using the current concepts of physics. This position was primarily discussed by Nagel in one of his most famous articles: "What is it Like to Be a Bat?" (1974).
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Since neither physics nor Darwinian biology"the concept of evolution"can account for the emergence of a mental world from a physical one, Nagel contends that the mental side of existence must somehow have been present in creation from the very start.
http://www.newyorker.com...

Nagel, however, goes much further, which is what makes Mind and Cosmos interesting. Even if we agree with him that consciousness presents a serious problem for the idea that science can explain all of reality, Nagel"s next move is more controversial. He asks what reason there can be for the existence of consciousness. He rules out intelligent design and God, and even evolution. Nagel concludes, in a vein similar to the German idealist philosophers of the late 18th and early 19th century, that the nature of reality is such that there is a natural progression towards consciousness.

Darwin"s account of evolution, broadly speaking, says that animals " traits will largely be determined by the environment they have existed in" namely the traits that allow one organism to survive and reproduce rather than another. Thicker furs in colder climates and sharper teeth for carnivores are good examples of adaptive traits. Consciousness could be like teeth or fur; a trait that allowed our ancestors to survive and reproduce. However, the principle of sufficient reason resurfaces. What does being conscious add, in terms of pure adaptability, over and above having really good adaptive behavioural patterns? Why aren"t we unconscious primates who unreflectively go about our business?

Seeing these problems Nagel concludes that the Darwinian answer is irreparably flawed. Ruling out divine intervention or design, evolution, and inexplicability, what reason is there left to explain consciousness? The only remaining answer, Nagel argues, is that on a fundamental level there is an end towards which the cosmos is naturally inclined: a natural teleology. Part of this natural teleology is a tendency for there to be creatures that are conscious. The universe, in a way of speaking, wants to become conscious. This conclusion may look no less strange or absurd than when I first introduced it, but it is at least clear that Nagel did not pluck it out of thin air. And even if we do not agree with his conclusion, the route he takes to arrive there raises many serious questions for philosophical naturalism (the theory that science exhaustively explains the universe).

Regardless, one of the motivating factors behind Nagel"s book, one largely glossed over by his critics so far, is that even with the extraordinary success of science, there is no obvious way it could account for things like consciousness, rationality, or moral values. We can disagree with Nagel that those things need to be part of our picture of reality. We can disagree with Nagel that there must be one coherent way of describing reality. We can even disagree with Nagel that there is an appearance-reality distinction. But we can"t keep gesturing to science"s great pragmatic value as a way of papering over its incomplete metaphysics.
http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk...

Where the book has been discussed, it has stirred up controversy, largely of an implicitly political nature. Proponents of evolution have, in effect, responded to it with a concerted "Et tu, Nagel?": having spent their careers fending off attacks on evolution from right-wing religious creationists, they now find themselves having to defend the idea on, so to speak, their left, hyper-rational flank.

But as H. Allen Orr rightly notes in the New York Review of Books, there"s nothing in "Mind and Cosmos" that supports or sympathizes with the religious point of view. Rather, Nagel is seeking to improve science, even to expand it, not to repudiate it.
http://www.newyorker.com...

I added in the two paragraphs above because I'm sure some will respond with the charge that Nagel is seeking to repudiate science, that he is against science, or is a closet theist.

Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

1. Atheists are not committed to materialism/naturalism. Dualist and even idealist atheists exist just fine. Another common position is neutral monism

Ok then, the question is directed to those who are.

OP seemed to be blanket-addressed to atheists. Personally I would regard myself as a physicalist regarding the ontology of mind. I was just making the point that falsifying it wouldn't have much theological impact.

2. Not pursuaded there even is a [hard] problem of consciousness other than a difficulty in practice what is commonly associated with requiring detailed knowledge of medium-sized systems (computational power is insufficient to model the brain like we do molecular systems, and the brain cannot be generalised enough to do large scale averaging). Which is not a problem in principle

I don't think you understood Dr. Nagel's point.

Half of your OP attacks the explanatory power of materialistic souces, via. Attacking it in practice, not in princ


http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com...

3. No argument in the OP has actually been provided to assert that physicalism is false, only argument by assertion

Most of his contemporaries, even the ones who disagree, think his points are strong.

But you haven't presented the points in your OP. You have only asserted they exist.

4. Clusterf*ck of teleological assumptions, ID and consciousness and even an attack on evolutiom = a brain dart of an OP. Stick to one thing at a time, as most atheists are going to object at every single presupposition in your case

Ok, but he didn't "attack" evolution.

He attacked it's explanatory power with regards to consciousness.
"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."
Raisor
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2/28/2015 8:15:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

Please elaborate on this.

I just don't see what the PoE has to do with questions of dulaism vs monism (wrt mind) or functionalism vs identity theory.

PoE seems relevant regardless of any theory of mind. I think both sides are mostly compatible even with either side of the free will debate.
popculturepooka
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2/28/2015 9:09:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 8:15:59 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

Please elaborate on this.

I just don't see what the PoE has to do with questions of dulaism vs monism (wrt mind) or functionalism vs identity theory.

PoE seems relevant regardless of any theory of mind. I think both sides are mostly compatible even with either side of the free will debate.

I mean like you know how the PoE is usually considered THE fatal objection to theism and that's why many aren't theists? The problem of consciousness is like that for naturalism.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Raisor
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2/28/2015 9:16:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 9:09:23 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/28/2015 8:15:59 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

Please elaborate on this.

I just don't see what the PoE has to do with questions of dulaism vs monism (wrt mind) or functionalism vs identity theory.

PoE seems relevant regardless of any theory of mind. I think both sides are mostly compatible even with either side of the free will debate.

I mean like you know how the PoE is usually considered THE fatal objection to theism and that's why many aren't theists? The problem of consciousness is like that for naturalism.

lol whoops I read your OP as "versus" instead of "version."

Not sure I agree though; I think most people reject naturalism on grounds unrelated to consciousness. Plus, aren't the most popular/widely accepted theories of mind naturalistic?
popculturepooka
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3/1/2015 10:05:30 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/28/2015 9:16:00 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/28/2015 9:09:23 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/28/2015 8:15:59 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

Please elaborate on this.

I just don't see what the PoE has to do with questions of dulaism vs monism (wrt mind) or functionalism vs identity theory.

PoE seems relevant regardless of any theory of mind. I think both sides are mostly compatible even with either side of the free will debate.

I mean like you know how the PoE is usually considered THE fatal objection to theism and that's why many aren't theists? The problem of consciousness is like that for naturalism.

lol whoops I read your OP as "versus" instead of "version."

Not sure I agree though; I think most people reject naturalism on grounds unrelated to consciousness. Plus, aren't the most popular/widely accepted theories of mind naturalistic?

Well, the most popular/widely accepted responses to the PoE are also theistic.... ;) That doesn't stop non-adherents from thinking that those replies are pretty strained and no one who already wasn't a theist (or naturalist) wouldn't be convinced by them.

I mean, Colin McGinn's mysterianism (for example) is pretty close to how some theists respond to the PoE. His response to the problem of consciousness is there is no way - obvious or not - to show that consciousness is naturalistic/materialistic, HOWEVER, we know that naturalism is true, so it just must be out of our cognitive pay grade to understand how they are compatible.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Rational_Thinker9119
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3/2/2015 8:58:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
There is no reason why we shouldn't all be P-Zombies if Physicalism is true, consciousness and experience is just shoved in there ad hoc.
Sidewalker
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3/4/2015 7:16:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/1/2015 10:05:30 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/28/2015 9:16:00 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/28/2015 9:09:23 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/28/2015 8:15:59 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

Please elaborate on this.

I just don't see what the PoE has to do with questions of dulaism vs monism (wrt mind) or functionalism vs identity theory.

PoE seems relevant regardless of any theory of mind. I think both sides are mostly compatible even with either side of the free will debate.

I mean like you know how the PoE is usually considered THE fatal objection to theism and that's why many aren't theists? The problem of consciousness is like that for naturalism.

lol whoops I read your OP as "versus" instead of "version."

Not sure I agree though; I think most people reject naturalism on grounds unrelated to consciousness. Plus, aren't the most popular/widely accepted theories of mind naturalistic?

Well, the most popular/widely accepted responses to the PoE are also theistic.... ;) That doesn't stop non-adherents from thinking that those replies are pretty strained and no one who already wasn't a theist (or naturalist) wouldn't be convinced by them.

I mean, Colin McGinn's mysterianism (for example) is pretty close to how some theists respond to the PoE. His response to the problem of consciousness is there is no way - obvious or not - to show that consciousness is naturalistic/materialistic, HOWEVER, we know that naturalism is true, so it just must be out of our cognitive pay grade to understand how they are compatible.

I think that's a good point, and it's one that Nagle addresses, McGinn and Nagle concur that the problem can't be solved, the difference is McGinn thinks it can't be solved ever, that it will remain inexplicable, Nagle rejects that defeatism and says it's only that it can't be solved within the current framework.

I'd liken it to the situation of over a hundred years ago with the constant speed of light, that was inexplicable within the framework of Newtonian Physics, and we knew Newtonian Physics was true. Most of the physics community was like McGinn, it's just an inexplicable mystery that can't be solved, it was a physics mysterianism, until Einstein came along and took Nagle's position, that it must be explicable so we need to reconsider the framework in which it isn't explicable and adjust it.

He made the constant speed of light a principle of nature and worked out a solution that involved changing the framework of thought. Nagle admits he's not the Einstein that needs to come along and find a solution, but he is saying it needs to be made explicable, and he's acknowledging that it will require a dramatic change in our framework of thought. At best he admits he sees only some of the features it will need to have, and that's similar to what Einstein did by accepting that the constant speed of light is a principle of nature. He's somewhat saying let's accept that consciousness and the teleology associated with that is in some way a principle of nature, now somebody needs to work out a solution that is not mysterian in nature, one which changes the framework to include the observed consciousness and the associated teleological nature of our observations of the natural world.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Sidewalker
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3/4/2015 8:39:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Nagle is in line with David Chalmers on this, Chalmers says the same thing, it's inexplicable, its a "hard problem", and he suggests about the same thing;

"Against reductionism I will argue that the tools of neuroscience cannot provide a full account of conscious experience, although they have much to offer. Against mysterianism I will hold that consciousness might be explained by a new kind of theory. The full details of such a theory are still out of reach, but careful reasoning and some educated inferences can reveal something of its general nature."

"In physics, for example, space-time, mass and charge (among other things) are regarded as fundamental features of the world, as they are not reducible to anything simpler."

"If the existence of consciousness cannot be derived from physical laws, a theory of physics is not a true theory of everything. So a final theory must contain an additional fundamental component. Toward this end, I propose that conscious experience be considered a fundamental feature, irreducible to anything more basic."

Einstein accepted that there were observations that just couldn't be incorporated in the current framework, so he made the framework more comprehensive by including those observations, that's what Nagle and Chalmers are suggesting, a more comprehensive framework that includes consciousness.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
popculturepooka
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3/6/2015 10:21:37 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/4/2015 7:16:53 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
At 3/1/2015 10:05:30 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/28/2015 9:16:00 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/28/2015 9:09:23 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/28/2015 8:15:59 PM, Raisor wrote:
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

Please elaborate on this.

I just don't see what the PoE has to do with questions of dulaism vs monism (wrt mind) or functionalism vs identity theory.

PoE seems relevant regardless of any theory of mind. I think both sides are mostly compatible even with either side of the free will debate.

I mean like you know how the PoE is usually considered THE fatal objection to theism and that's why many aren't theists? The problem of consciousness is like that for naturalism.

lol whoops I read your OP as "versus" instead of "version."

Not sure I agree though; I think most people reject naturalism on grounds unrelated to consciousness. Plus, aren't the most popular/widely accepted theories of mind naturalistic?

Well, the most popular/widely accepted responses to the PoE are also theistic.... ;) That doesn't stop non-adherents from thinking that those replies are pretty strained and no one who already wasn't a theist (or naturalist) wouldn't be convinced by them.

I mean, Colin McGinn's mysterianism (for example) is pretty close to how some theists respond to the PoE. His response to the problem of consciousness is there is no way - obvious or not - to show that consciousness is naturalistic/materialistic, HOWEVER, we know that naturalism is true, so it just must be out of our cognitive pay grade to understand how they are compatible.

I think that's a good point, and it's one that Nagle addresses, McGinn and Nagle concur that the problem can't be solved, the difference is McGinn thinks it can't be solved ever, that it will remain inexplicable, Nagle rejects that defeatism and says it's only that it can't be solved within the current framework.

I'd liken it to the situation of over a hundred years ago with the constant speed of light, that was inexplicable within the framework of Newtonian Physics, and we knew Newtonian Physics was true. Most of the physics community was like McGinn, it's just an inexplicable mystery that can't be solved, it was a physics mysterianism, until Einstein came along and took Nagle's position, that it must be explicable so we need to reconsider the framework in which it isn't explicable and adjust it.

He made the constant speed of light a principle of nature and worked out a solution that involved changing the framework of thought. Nagle admits he's not the Einstein that needs to come along and find a solution, but he is saying it needs to be made explicable, and he's acknowledging that it will require a dramatic change in our framework of thought. At best he admits he sees only some of the features it will need to have, and that's similar to what Einstein did by accepting that the constant speed of light is a principle of nature. He's somewhat saying let's accept that consciousness and the teleology associated with that is in some way a principle of nature, now somebody needs to work out a solution that is not mysterian in nature, one which changes the framework to include the observed consciousness and the associated teleological nature of our observations of the natural world.

Excellent analogy. I like that.
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
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Double_R
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3/8/2015 11:47:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 9:55:06 AM, ethang5 wrote:
Has any atheist out there thought about the problem consciousness creates for materialism/naturalism? How do you reconcile your naturalistic world-view with the problem of consciousness?

Consciousness is only a problem for people who don't understand why it's fallacious to look at something that occurs in nature and say "nope, nature can't do that".
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3/8/2015 11:50:45 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/27/2015 7:49:50 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
The problem of consciousness is naturalism version of the problem of evil, imo.

They don't compare. One attempts to expose a logical contradiction, the other attempts to utilize a logical fallacy.
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3/8/2015 11:53:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 8:19:33 PM, zmikecuber wrote:
The problem of consciousness is that its very hard to show that consciousness is physical matter.

It's not. Problem solved.
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3/8/2015 5:37:01 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/4/2015 8:39:39 AM, Sidewalker wrote:
Nagle is in line with David Chalmers on this, Chalmers says the same thing, it's inexplicable, its a "hard problem", and he suggests about the same thing;

"Against reductionism I will argue that the tools of neuroscience cannot provide a full account of conscious experience, although they have much to offer. Against mysterianism I will hold that consciousness might be explained by a new kind of theory. The full details of such a theory are still out of reach, but careful reasoning and some educated inferences can reveal something of its general nature."

"In physics, for example, space-time, mass and charge (among other things) are regarded as fundamental features of the world, as they are not reducible to anything simpler."

"If the existence of consciousness cannot be derived from physical laws, a theory of physics is not a true theory of everything. So a final theory must contain an additional fundamental component. Toward this end, I propose that conscious experience be considered a fundamental feature, irreducible to anything more basic."

Einstein accepted that there were observations that just couldn't be incorporated in the current framework, so he made the framework more comprehensive by including those observations, that's what Nagle and Chalmers are suggesting, a more comprehensive framework that includes consciousness.

Neuro-biology is a very recent field. To me it seems bizarre to make any serious assertion about whether or not physical laws can account for consciousness after only a century of scientific research. We know very little about the brain and how it relates to conscious states, and most of what we do know was only discovered in the past decade. If we are still scratching our heads about consciousness as a physical phenomenon 100 or 200 years from now, then we can seriously entertain consciousness as an irreducible feature of reality.