How can "Consciousness is awareness of existence." be validated.

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1. Go back to my previous post, and you will see that I ~did~ supply an answer to, or argument against, the fourth possibility. Point 4 addresses it explicitly. You either did not bother to read it, or did not understand its relevance to this point. You certainly did not quote it. I wrote:

4. As for how the fact that ~anything at all~ exists ~does not~ need a causal explanation, that seems to me to rely on logic, on the reduction to absurdity or to infinite regress of assuming the opposite view. Suppose the fact that anything at all exists ~did~ need a causal explanation. That cause would have to be something else that existed, which itself would have been the preceding totality of existence, which itself would need a causal explanation, etc., etc. Thus, trying to argue that existence per se needs a causal explanation involves an infinite regress (which is why positing God as cause of the universe is useless). But the fact that ~something in particular~ exists -- such as trees, solar systems, snowflakes, or a relationship between matter and consciousness -- ~does~ need a causal explanation. What produced it? It could not have come from nowhere, only from something else. Sorry if this offends your very reasonable sensibilities against pontificating, but I don't know how to say it any more simply, and the logic of it seems inescapable to me.

It could not have come from nowhere, only from something else.

And what if we can, for the purpose of this argument, posit existence that just is.

Second, that a cause of existence is not currently discoverable, if it even exists.

Can you not envision a reality wherein you have any evidence that existence has no cause?

"If not, isn't existence just some "miraculous (a-causal)" state (or starting point) according to your own standard?"

I think Roger that you are much too fulminated about this to use such weak argumentative structure, but you do number your points, I will give you a good grade on organizing the weak argument and it is easier to follow.


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Conflating people's views is not a tool of understanding or clarity. It is a way of dismissing your opposition and those who disagree with you. It is often a sign of intellectually dishonesty. I cannot think that you did this deliberately. It must just be extremely sloppy thinking on your part.


This is exactly the way I feel about what you have done with what I am discussing. You have pigeonholed the idea into concepts where it doesn't fit, then demolished your pigeons.

You still show no interest in understanding the idea before disagreeing with it, although you discuss and skeet shoot your pigeons at great length.

It is not enough to say billiard balls do not generate causality without looking at which causes they generate. Presuming one cause and one cause only (a human use at that) is all the cause you need does not do justice to the concept of "causality." Presuming a concept like "red" as all the cause you need when discussing color does not do justice to the concept of "causality." And that's just for starters. (You didn't state this explicitly, but the curt dismissal in both cases strongly implies it, as two more pigeons bite the dust.)

Also, I do not, most definitely do not, agree with Schopenhauer's view in The World as Will and Idea, which I happen to have gone through, albeit not in great depth, when I was studying Wagner's Ring for conducting.

You really do not know what I am talking about. You certainly have more than enough the intelligence to understand, but apparently have no interest. Your words do not correspond to what I am getting at and there is way too much mischaracterization going on with pigeons flying all over the place.

Also, you say things like:

... that the relation of matter and consciousness is not causally dependent on something else (and therefore just a brute fact), is miraculous, a-causal nonsense.

as if "brute facts" like fundamental axioms are "miraculous, a-causal nonsense." If the relation of matter and consciousness are causally dependent on something else, as you imply here, then what is that something else? God? A concept?

Glue? :)

I say they are like front and back when dealing with the human entity. Which is more "causally dependent"? The front on the back or the back on the front? This is exactly what I consider difficult to digest in this "mind is dependent on body" approach. In my view, they are both part of the same entity as a metaphysically indivisible whole (qua human being).

I literally reject the mind-body dichotomy when looking at a whole human being, although I can separate the parts and study their natures for analysis. (On a more macro level, I also reject the idea that the human individual can be severed from the human species, and I hold that the existence of both species and individuals is a "brute fact," i.e., an axiom.)

When I read statements like "the mind is an attribute of a human being" (with which I agree), I often get the feeling that the person means, "the mind is a byproduct of the body." This is a view with which I take issue.

If you want evidence that consciousness can volitionally mold the body, there are oodles of scientific experiments out there, starting with practitioners of meditation slowing their heartbeats down at will. And if you want evidence that the body influences the mind, there oodles of scientific experiments out there, starting with psychotropic drugs. All this is on record and easy to find. I don't see how any of it can be denied.

But I agree, also, that I do not like the way you are treating me. You are way too free with the word "sloppy" as you get what I am discussing all wrong (which I consider really sloppy), so it is probably best to give this issue a rest. It is becoming bickering qua bickering.

I am happy to have the last word if this is where this matter is going to stay.

Thank you for the offer. :)


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Whoah... hope this tumble turns out OK.

It's not loyalty that keeps me with Mike on this one, but he is being frank and sensible. On the other hand, I expect REB to hang in there even though he got called for being a little sniffy.

Good luck and Godspeed, boys.


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an interactive relationship between matter and consciousness does not miraculously appear from nowhere, and it does not just HAPPEN. It has to be CAUSED to come into existence. That is why alternative #4 is simply a non-starter. It is absurd on the face of it. It certainly ~is~ brute, miraculous nonsense.

This is the wrong epistemological approach!


Here is the fact we do know:

* Consciousness exists through the environment of electro-chemical functioning in brain matter

What we don't know is:

*If we create brain matter and electrically stimulate it, do we create consciousness?


Consciousness operates on rules and regulations that cannot be explained through hard sciences as physics, chemistry, and biology. If it could, it would be deterministic. Therefore, how can observations explaining causality of consciousness be limited in scope to observations through physics, chemistry, and biology?


Consciousness is never observed, it is only inferred. Therefore, an epistemological approach limited by hard sciences (which any computer can do) is limited by the deterministic processes inherent in such an approach. Can a computer understand or observe consciousness as consciousness per se? Of course not. It takes one to know one. Therefore, reducing observations of consciousness to a strictly "physical view of the universe" is inaccurate.


As it is only through consciousness that consciousness can be inferred in other objects, then claims of consciousness in other objects (trees, rocks, the universe) cannot be easily dismissed. Of course, we have to think logically whether such oberservations make pragmatic sense. But don't forget, only a few thousand years ago men thought consciousness existed in organs such as the heart. Now that our current level of science allows us to make observations of brain activity in synchrony with conscious experience, we can assert that the brain is the seat of consciousness. But our instruments are far from whatever the maximum of human potential development is; therefore, it is good to accept other instruments of observation as to what is and is not consciousness.


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