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Materialism Cannot Explain Value

s-anthony
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10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.
janesix
Posts: 3,476
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10/28/2015 7:37:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

At the base of everything is Life and Consciousness. Physicality is secondary.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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10/28/2015 7:48:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:37:21 PM, janesix wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

At the base of everything is Life and Consciousness. Physicality is secondary.

I don't believe physicality is inferior to that which is metaphysical; I believe they are both essential to life.
janesix
Posts: 3,476
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10/28/2015 7:51:59 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:48:42 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:37:21 PM, janesix wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

At the base of everything is Life and Consciousness. Physicality is secondary.

I don't believe physicality is inferior to that which is metaphysical; I believe they are both essential to life.

Physicality gives Consciousness and Life organisation and structure.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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10/28/2015 7:54:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

A model is a simplified mechanism predicting key behaviours, Anthony. Its possible for a mind to model itself, simply because it doesn't have to model everything about itself.

The brain doesn't keep a conscious memory of all its functions (and probably not an unconscious memory either.) We cannot always say where a thought or feeling came from, and what might have induced a particular dream to occur is often mysterious to us. So our understanding of ourselves is perforce a limited account of ourselves. And that means it'll only predict some things and not others. And moreover, when we evaluate ourselves, what we're evaluating is only our self-model, not our true self.

This may explain why some people are so conceited despite their appalling behaviours; while others have low self-regard, despite the esteem others may hold them in. Poor self-models can produce poor self-evaluation. But equally, poor evaluation criteria can produce the same result, and that leads us to the second part of your question...

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli. However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not?
We know from observation that a great deal of our self-evaluation is based on learned values and expectations, typically acquired from our culture and individual life-experiences, but also informed by predispositions in our species itself.

When those values and expectations are unreasonable, our self-evaluations can become unreasonable. When they're corrupt, our self-evaluations can become corrupt. And either way, evaluation provides reflection on the quality of our self-modeling, so if our evaluations are poor, our self-modeling can become poor too.

That balancing act -- achieving integrity without being unreasonable -- is both an ontological and a moral concern for psychologists, and manifests in discussions about contingent worth (I'm worthy because of what I've done), and self acceptance (I'm worthy because I exist.) (E.g. [https://www.psychologytoday.com...])

I think it remains a philosophical problem (by which I mean scientific philosophy, rather than metaphysical philosophy), but that doesn't mean it's unsolvable.

However I also don't believe that religion solves it. Instead I think religion exacerbates the problem, confounds attempts to explore it, and simultaneously exploits individual confusion for its own ends.
kp98
Posts: 729
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10/28/2015 8:33:20 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'd like to draw attention to the difference between 'value' and 'value judgement'. Materialism is good for explaining value judgements - we will naturally evolve to value what is 'good' for us (imperfectly - evolution generally produces effective but not perfect solutions). We will judge the value of our lives quite highly.

But do our lives really have value? I won't go into why materialism is of less - possibly no - help with that question because Hume already covered that quite well!
SNP1
Posts: 2,406
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10/28/2015 8:42:58 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The values that life has are not intrinsic values. They are positions that are predisposed due to evolution.

For example:
A species that had the majority prefer death would die out, thus not reproduce and evolve.
#TheApatheticNihilistPartyofAmerica
#WarOnDDO
s-anthony
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10/28/2015 10:24:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:51:59 PM, janesix wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:48:42 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:37:21 PM, janesix wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

At the base of everything is Life and Consciousness. Physicality is secondary.

I don't believe physicality is inferior to that which is metaphysical; I believe they are both essential to life.

Physicality gives Consciousness and Life organisation and structure.

Personally, I believe sentience gives the physical world organization and structure, also. I believe physical stimuli are defined by the mind, as well as that which is physical giving meaning to that which is metaphysical.
s-anthony
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10/29/2015 4:21:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
A model is a simplified mechanism predicting key behaviours, Anthony. Its possible for a mind to model itself, simply because it doesn't have to model everything about itself.

Sorry, but for me, the mind is not material. I could be wrong, but I believe you're speaking of the brain.

If the brain did indeed model itself doing so would still fail to explain the mechanism of interpretation, in other words, giving values to neurological stimulations.

We know from observation that a great deal of our self-evaluation is based on learned values and expectations, typically acquired from our culture and individual life-experiences, but also informed by predispositions in our species itself.

The OP is not asking how it is we acquired value but the reason for value in the first place. In other words, why does value even exist? Telling me it exists to preserve the species is not telling me why it is nature wishes to preserve the species or anything for that matter.
RuvDraba
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10/29/2015 4:38:51 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 4:21:09 AM, s-anthony wrote:
A model is a simplified mechanism predicting key behaviours, Anthony. Its possible for a mind to model itself, simply because it doesn't have to model everything about itself.
Sorry, but for me, the mind is not material.
Then you have assumed your conclusion. If value is not a product of a material process then no material process can predict value.

Of course, that's also incorrect. We know that cultural learning predicts value perfectly well, while neural degeneration can damage our sense of values, as seen in (for example) dementia patients.

We know from observation that a great deal of our self-evaluation is based on learned values and expectations, typically acquired from our culture and individual life-experiences, but also informed by predispositions in our species itself.
The OP is not asking how it is we acquired value but the reason for value in the first place. In other words, why does value even exist?
You mean how has it come to exist, or how does its existence serve our species' needs?

We're a species that cooperates to collect food, raise offspring and defend our young, but competes to eat food and for reproductive opportunities. So we're pulled by competing pressures. Either our resolution of those pressures is instinctive and hence inflexible, or it's situationally adaptive yet cohesive enough to sustain groups -- or a bit of both.

What are values but sustainably cohesive, situational adaptive responses to conflicting self-interest/group interest pressures?

Is it possible to be an intelligent species cooperating and competing without developing an adaptive, values-based approach to conflicting pressures?

Telling me it exists to preserve the species is not telling me why it is nature wishes to preserve the species or anything for that matter.
You're anthropomorphising and politicising a statistical trend. Species that don't find ways to adapt don't survive. Survivors therefore have found adaptations that work.

All social species practice a mix of cooperation and competition. But the tool-using species (especially the hominins) develop values-based behaviours. You can find compassion toward strangers in chimps and bonobos for example; especially when they're well-fed and feeling secure. That's just a hair short of trading between groups, as humans do.

And if you've got trading, you've implicitly got shared values and trust.
kp98
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10/29/2015 10:28:46 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Let me remind Ruv about my post above and the difference between 'value' and 'value judgements'. Materialism (ie evolution etc) can explain why we make certain value judgements and not others (which Ruv did quite nicely in the above post), but it can't say anything at all about 'value' in the abstract sense (which is what the questioner wanted to know about).

But it's straight 'no ought from is'. It may be ok to value the success of the species if you are a human talking about humans, but should we value the success of the smallpox species of virus? Why not? Is it because we are cleverer than smallpox? In that case, if we were invaded by a more intelligent aliens, we shouldn't fight them because (as we based our value on intelligence) they are more valuable that we are?
Illegalcombatant
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10/29/2015 10:53:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

It's called a mirror..........
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
s-anthony
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10/29/2015 12:59:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Then you have assumed your conclusion. If value is not a product of a material process then no material process can predict value.

I may have assumed my present position, but apparently, you have assumed yours, as well; because, you still have failed to tell me why it is the brain has found value in anything.

Of course, that's also incorrect. We know that cultural learning predicts value perfectly well, while neural degeneration can damage our sense of values, as seen in (for example) dementia patients.

Predicting values does not tell me the reason for their existence.

I believe the metaphysical corresponds with the physical; in other words, one defines, and gives meaning to, the other.

However, saying value declines with neural degeneration is not telling me the reason for its existence. You're still trying to explain to me the way in which value has come to exist while I'm asking you for the reason it exists.

You mean how has it come to exist, or how does its existence serve our species' nesociaNo.

That's, exactly, the thing I'm not asking you. I'm not asking you to describe how it is value exists but why it is value exists in the first place.
s-anthony
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10/29/2015 1:13:07 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
But do our lives really have value? I won't go into why materialism is of less - possibly no - help with that question because Hume already covered that quite well!

I believe value is essential to our existence as sentient beings. I believe value is the very thing that distinguishes sentience from nonsentience.
s-anthony
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10/29/2015 1:20:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
The values that life has are not intrinsic values. They are positions that are predisposed due to evolution.

This does not explain the reason for their existence. It only tells me how it is you think they've come to exist.
RuvDraba
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10/29/2015 5:40:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 12:59:35 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Then you have assumed your conclusion. If value is not a product of a material process then no material process can predict value.
I may have assumed my present position, but apparently, you have assumed yours, as well; because, you still have failed to tell me why it is the brain has found value in anything.

What does 'why' mean in this case, Anthony? If you asked me 'how' that would make sense. But what should I construe from 'why'?

Is there some implicit premise of a universal moral order underpinning your question? If so, could you make it explicit please, and tell me why I should accept the premise?

Of course, that's also incorrect. We know that cultural learning predicts value perfectly well, while neural degeneration can damage our sense of values, as seen in (for example) dementia patients.
Predicting values does not tell me the reason for their existence.
What should 'reason' have to do with existence? Again, are you assuming some universal moral order? If so, what is the premise and why should anyone accept it?

I believe the metaphysical corresponds with the physical; in other words, one defines, and gives meaning to, the other.
However, saying value declines with neural degeneration is not telling me the reason for its existence. You're still trying to explain to me the way in which value has come to exist while I'm asking you for the reason it exists.
Understanding how things work can only reveal a universal moral order if that order exists, and is evident in design.

But there's no certainty that there is such an order in design, and plenty of evidence that there isn't.

So in asking 'why', aren't you assuming your conclusion?

'Why' questions are questions about the actions of sentience: why did you laugh then; why did you eat the last slice of cake.

But of whom are you asking 'why' in this case? A sentient, creative agency?

That's the conclusion leading the evidence, isn't it?

My suggestion: confine yourself to asking how. The how will indicate whether there may also be a why.
kp98
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10/29/2015 6:49:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
A model is a simplified mechanism predicting key behaviours, Anthony. Its possible for a mind to model itself, simply because it doesn't have to model everything about itself.

I think that is not quite the case. There is no reason to insist the minds model of itself is a simplified mechanism predicting its key behaviours. All the brain has to do is support the model, regardless of how that model relates to reality. We get no reliable information about how the brain really works by 'introspection' (ie by how it seems to us our brains work) - all we can discover that way is how the brain self-models its workings.

In the case of the brain it is quite odd but it seems to be that the brain is really operating on ordinary materialist lines but it models itself as if ir worked using appearently inexplicable woo-woo devices such as consciousness and free-will. At some level the model - far from being a simplification - is more complicated that what is being modelled!
RuvDraba
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10/29/2015 8:07:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 6:49:37 PM, kp98 wrote:
A model is a simplified mechanism predicting key behaviours, Anthony. Its possible for a mind to model itself, simply because it doesn't have to model everything about itself.
I think that is not quite the case. There is no reason to insist the minds model of itself is a simplified mechanism predicting its key behaviours.

Since we find ways to adapt behaviour to meet other peoples' needs and expectations, we can say that a mind's model of itself isn't totally wrong. But since subjective views of self are rife with bias, delusion, circularity, rationalisation and inconsistency, we can also say that the mind's model of itself isn't totally right.
s-anthony
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10/29/2015 10:10:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What does 'why' mean in this case, Anthony? If you asked me 'how' that would make sense. But what should I construe from 'why'?

The word why questions the reason for something's occurrence, not the way in which it occurred.

Saying it doesn't make sense is avoiding the problem. Philosophy is not avoiding problems but attempting to solve them.

Is there some implicit premise of a universal moral order underpinning your question? If so, could you make it explicit please, and tell me why I should accept the premise?

The answer is, "Yes;" and, the reason you should question morality is because it's a very real and significant part of life.

I'm not telling you to accept anything but, merely, to consider it.

What should 'reason' have to do with existence? Again, are you assuming some universal moral order? If so, what is the premise and why should anyone accept it?

Reason is a very large part of sentience.

Understanding how things work can only reveal a universal moral order if that order exists, and is evident in design.

Telling me how is it something works tells me nothing about its value. Value is determined by the appraiser.

Value is not merely objective; it is subjective, too. The object is appraised by the subjective mind.

'Why' questions are questions about the actions of sentience: why did you laugh then; why did you eat the last slice of cake.

I agree totally.

But of whom are you asking 'why' in this case? A sentient, creative agency?

My point exactly.

That's the conclusion leading the evidence, isn't it?

Evidence is objective, not partial, or relative. If a prosecutor for political expediency desires to find a defendant guilty, any evidence that contradicts the desired outcome of the trial is not valued. For, evidence is objective; it tells us that which occurred, not that which we wish occurred. So, looking for objective evidence to support something that is subjective is barking up the wrong tree.

My suggestion: confine yourself to asking how. The how will indicate whether there may also be a why.

No. How does not answer why; how answers how; why answers why. Telling me the way something occurred is not giving me a reason for its occurrence, and that's the mistake I believe most materialists make; they assume they are answering the reason for an occurrence; however, they are only describing the way in which it occurred.
distraff
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10/29/2015 10:45:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

There is no such thing as objective value. Value is subjective. You may place great value on your old baseball mitt but I see any value in having it.
RuvDraba
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10/29/2015 11:09:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 10:10:43 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Is there some implicit premise of a universal moral order underpinning your question? If so, could you make it explicit please, and tell me why I should accept the premise?
The answer is, "Yes;" and, the reason you should question morality is because it's a very real and significant part of life.
But morality is not the presumption of a universal moral order. It's simply the mutual recognition that better and worse can be discerned and agreed on. You've added the rest to privilege a position you hadn't explicitly stated, and have not subsequently explained or defended.

What should 'reason' have to do with existence? Again, are you assuming some universal moral order? If so, what is the premise and why should anyone accept it?
Reason is a very large part of sentience.
ReasonING is not rationale. Sentience does reasoning; there is no certainty of a rationale to existence, and plenty of evidence to show a moral rationale unlikely.

Understanding how things work can only reveal a universal moral order if that order exists, and is evident in design.
Telling me how is it something works tells me nothing about its value. Value is determined by the appraiser.
Yes, according to criteria. If the criteria are shared then value is shared, regardless of how the criteria were derived, or how they came to be shared. So the 'how' of value can potentially be explained empirically; but the 'why' cannot simply because any 'why' is based on unstated, undemonstrable, subjective assumptions.

Those assumptions are not the responsibility of empiricism -- they're your responsibility.

That's the conclusion leading the evidence, isn't it?
Evidence is objective, not partial, or relative.
Reference, please.

looking for objective evidence to support something that is subjective is barking up the wrong tree.
Or put another way, it's dishonest having a discussion with anyone if you frame it so that others must be accountable to evidence for their conclusions, while you need not.
s-anthony
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10/29/2015 11:13:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 10:45:02 PM, distraff wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

There is no such thing as objective value. Value is subjective. You may place great value on your old baseball mitt but I see any value in having it.

I never said value was objective.
distraff
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10/29/2015 11:18:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 11:13:35 PM, s-anthony wrote:
At 10/29/2015 10:45:02 PM, distraff wrote:
At 10/28/2015 7:06:24 PM, s-anthony wrote:
If the mechanism of interpretation truly transcends neurological complexes, it must be something other than neurological complexes, themselves. For, how could the observer be the object of observation?

Could it be the brain consists of both observer and the object of observation? In other words, the brain is merely observing itself; and, both it and the object of observation are mere physiological components of a single organ.

Science is good at explaining multisensory integration, sensory input that stimulates the brain giving a multiplicity of stimuli.

However, this in itself does not explain the mechanism of evaluation. Why do some stimuli receive favorable evaluations while others do not? And, why do values vary? Are stimuli simply valued by their intensity? If so, why are some stimuli regardless of intensity found displeasing?

Of course, one may answer, "Because they inflict physical or emotional pain."

Why does pain repulse the organism?

To which one may answer, "Because, it's detrimental to its integrity."

Why does the organism value integrity over disintegration? Why does it value life over death or existence over nonexistence? Why does it value anything, at all?

Explaining sentience as a mere collection of contrasting neurological stimulations does not explain meaning, significance, or value. Value is an enigma for which materialism has failed to explain.

There is no such thing as objective value. Value is subjective. You may place great value on your old baseball mitt but I see any value in having it.

I never said value was objective.

Ok, good. It seems like your whole post is asking questions about neurology that we have not answered yet and then conclude that materialism can't explain why we value things. We barely understand how the physical brain works. How are we supposed to know that it can't place value on things?
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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10/29/2015 11:53:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
But morality is not the presumption of a universal moral order. It's simply the mutual recognition that better and worse can be discerned and agreed on. You've added the rest to privilege a position you hadn't explicitly stated, and have not subsequently explained or defended.

I've never said morality was universal; in fact, I have argued just the opposite by saying over and over, ad nauseam, it was relative.

You're the one who has constantly argued we can use objective means to validate its existence.

ReasonING is not rationale. Sentience does reasoning; there is no certainty of a rationale to existence, and plenty of evidence to show a moral rationale unlikely.

rationale: a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or a particular belief.

That's the exact meaning at least according to the dictionary.

I have never said existence or morality were rational, or reasonable. Things do not have to be rational, or logical, in order to exist. In fact, there are many things I and many other people find completely illogical that exist.

Do you believe all things are logical? Do you believe murder or theft is reasonable?

Yes, according to criteria. If the criteria are shared then value is shared, regardless of how the criteria were derived, or how they came to be shared. So the 'how' of value can potentially be explained empirically; but the 'why' cannot simply because any 'why' is based on unstated, undemonstrable, subjective assumptions.

Those assumptions are not the responsibility of empiricism -- they're your responsibility.

Eureka! That's has been my argument, all along.

Or put another way, it's dishonest having a discussion with anyone if you frame it so that others must be accountable to evidence for their conclusions, while you need not.

Only, if they claim objectivity.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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10/30/2015 1:08:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/29/2015 11:53:35 PM, s-anthony wrote:
But morality is not the presumption of a universal moral order. It's simply the mutual recognition that better and worse can be discerned and agreed on. You've added the rest to privilege a position you hadn't explicitly stated, and have not subsequently explained or defended.
I've never said morality was universal; in fact, I have argued just the opposite by saying over and over, ad nauseam, it was relative.
Without a universal moral order, what common rationale do you hope for existence? Without a common rationale, what meaning should be ascribed to 'why'? What is it that makes that question legitimate, meaningful or its answers actionable in any way?

ReasonING is not rationale. Sentience does reasoning; there is no certainty of a rationale to existence, and plenty of evidence to show a moral rationale unlikely.
rationale: a set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or a particular belief.
That's the exact meaning at least according to the dictionary.
Reasoning has two meanings -- one is a verb; the other a noun. As my paragraph made clear, I was talking about the verb.

The verb isn't the noun. Whether anyone can reason has no bearing on whether there is or should be a universal moral order.

I have never said existence or morality were rational, or reasonable. Things do not have to be rational, or logical, in order to exist. In fact, there are many things I and many other people find completely illogical that exist.
Do you believe all things are logical? Do you believe murder or theft is reasonable?
I view logic as a linguistic construct, Anthony. Its validity in making sense of reality depends not just on the language we use, but also on choice of ontology (what exists and how we order it), and epistemology (how we understand knowledge and truth.)

So asking whether all things are logical begs questions on which logic you mean, what ontology, what epistemology, how a failure of validity is recognised, and how we'd distinguish a failure of logic from failures of epistemology and ontology.

You have too many assumptions flapping to answer the question.

Yes, according to criteria. If the criteria are shared then value is shared, regardless of how the criteria were derived, or how they came to be shared. So the 'how' of value can potentially be explained empirically; but the 'why' cannot simply because any 'why' is based on unstated, undemonstrable, subjective assumptions.
Those assumptions are not the responsibility of empiricism -- they're your responsibility.
Eureka! That's has been my argument, all along.
Responsibility is not accountability.

You remain accountable for your assumptions, but responsible for managing them.

Or put another way, it's dishonest having a discussion with anyone if you frame it so that others must be accountable to evidence for their conclusions, while you need not.
Only, if they claim objectivity.
No, it's always dishonest to frame an question to use weak validation for your position, and strong validation for other positions.
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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10/30/2015 11:50:09 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Ok, good. It seems like your whole post is asking questions about neurology that we have not answered yet and then conclude that materialism can't explain why we value things. We barely understand how the physical brain works. How are we supposed to know that it can't place value on things?

I'm not saying materialism may never explain value; I'm saying it hasn't.

However, most materialists make the objective assertion, "It has." Personally, I don't know any materialist that has shown any humility and has admitted he, or she, just doesn't know. In fact, many have assumed without any evidence it's just a product of the material brain. I have found many, if not all, materialists to be just as dogmatic and just as rigid as any religious fundamentalist.
Hitchian
Posts: 764
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10/30/2015 12:07:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/30/2015 11:50:09 AM, s-anthony wrote:
Ok, good. It seems like your whole post is asking questions about neurology that we have not answered yet and then conclude that materialism can't explain why we value things. We barely understand how the physical brain works. How are we supposed to know that it can't place value on things?

I'm not saying materialism may never explain value; I'm saying it hasn't.


Really? That's interesting.
Because you are the OP and you titled this thread
"Materialism Cannot Explain Value"
My emphasis.

However, most materialists make the objective assertion, "It has." Personally, I don't know any materialist that has shown any humility and has admitted he, or she, just doesn't know. In fact, many have assumed without any evidence it's just a product of the material brain.

That might be because, as far as we know, there is nothing beyond the material. Should you do know that there is, please bring forth your evidence. I'd love to hear it.

I have found many, if not all, materialists to be just as dogmatic and just as rigid as any religious fundamentalist.

Not in the least.
Until you demonstrate that reality includes but is not limited to the material, we are bound by that omission to start from the premise that all observable phenomena have a material cause, even though we currently might not know the causal material link.

We would all agree that the material exists. If you're going to postulate that something else also exists, the burden is on you to establish this. The default position is to tentatively and temporarily assume the material as the only form of existence. Once evidence is presented to the contrary, that assumption will be superseded.

Personally, I'd love for a demonstration that reality transcends the merely material. The universe will instantly become a more interesting place. Sadly, not one iota of evidence has surfaced.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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10/30/2015 12:37:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/30/2015 11:50:09 AM, s-anthony wrote:
I'm not saying materialism may never explain value; I'm saying it hasn't.
And yet Anthony's title is: Materialism Cannot Explain Value
Not hasn't explained, but can't explain.

Shifting position much?

But what does 'explain' mean?

Apparently, it doesn't mean how value appears, but why it has appeared.

At 10/29/2015 10:10:43 PM, s-anthony wrote:
The word why questions the reason for something's occurrence, not the way in which it occurred.
But 'why' is an answer from a person to a person. So who are the parties involved?

At 10/29/2015 5:40:51 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 10/29/2015 10:10:43 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Is there some implicit premise of a universal moral order underpinning your question?
The answer is, "Yes;"

So Anthony wants us to assume a universal moral order (presumably designed, so the designer can answer questions), though it's not clear why we should.

However, then he denies believing in such an order:
At 10/29/2015 11:53:35 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I've never said morality was universal; in fact, I have argued just the opposite by saying over and over, ad nauseam, it was relative.

So uh... what is 'why' supposed to mean?

Anthony seems to have a poorly-framed question based on premises he hasn't explained and can't resolve.

But apparently that's not Anthony's fault. It's the fault of some straw-man he's refuting, but can't attribute:
I'm not saying materialism may never explain value; I'm saying it hasn't.
However, most materialists make the objective assertion, "It has."

'Most' who?

Here are my outstanding questions:
1) Who are the materialists of whom Anthony speaks?
2) Which of them has asserted that natural questions have a 'why', and not just a 'how'?
3) What is that 'why' supposed to mean anyway, when we're asking about nature?
4) Do we think we're still living in the Middle Ages, with invisible angels puffing clouds across the sky? If not, then is there any reason to expect a 'why' from nature?
Fkkize
Posts: 2,149
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10/30/2015 3:41:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What a drivel.....If you are to use terms, use them correctly....and try to strawman a little less...
: At 7/2/2016 3:05:07 PM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
:
: space contradicts logic
distraff
Posts: 1,005
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10/30/2015 3:59:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 10/30/2015 11:50:09 AM, s-anthony wrote:
Ok, good. It seems like your whole post is asking questions about neurology that we have not answered yet and then conclude that materialism can't explain why we value things. We barely understand how the physical brain works. How are we supposed to know that it can't place value on things?

I'm not saying materialism may never explain value; I'm saying it hasn't.

However, most materialists make the objective assertion, "It has." Personally, I don't know any materialist that has shown any humility and has admitted he, or she, just doesn't know. In fact, many have assumed without any evidence it's just a product of the material brain. I have found many, if not all, materialists to be just as dogmatic and just as rigid as any religious fundamentalist.

Honestly, science has not been able to explain a lot about the human brain. Materialism has not been able to fully explain value, consciousness, emotion, thought, reason, and much more about human experience. So far we see thought as electrical activity through the brain but does not fully explain the thought as we experience it.

It sees emotion as chemicals running through the brain, but does not explain emotion as we experience it. It has fundamentally been unable to explain consciousness. Without understanding consciousness it is impossible to explain the value we put on things since this requires consciousness.

But then again, religious people have been unable to explain these things with any kind of evidence. So these are questions that have been unanswered by anybody.