Naturalism = Nihilism?
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26-07-2014, 11:15 PM (This post was last modified: 26-07-2014 11:20 PM by true scotsman.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 11:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 11:08 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I'm really at a loss for words.

Consciousness doesn't exist.....and you know this by means of your.....blank out.

Thanks for the discussion.

Except he didn't say that consciousness doesn't exist.

So there's that.

"But it is not something that exists." Stevil

So there's that. After all that back and forth about, you know, knowledge, he then denies that consciousness exists. There's really nothing else to discuss.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-07-2014, 11:18 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 11:15 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 11:11 PM)cjlr Wrote:  Except he didn't say that consciousness doesn't exist.

So there's that.

"But it is not something that exists." Stevil

He said that consciousness was a vague catchall term. Which is true. It refers to no specific process or phenomenon.

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26-07-2014, 11:22 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
Consciousness is an emergent property of (physical) sensual stimuli referenced to memory. In a way it's an illusion, as what we perceive as "present" is in fact already (slightly) past, as it takes some (small ) amount of time to route the information. In the absence of healthy intact functioning brain and sensory systems, it does not "emerge".
It's entirely dependent on working physical systems and structures. To say it's "metaphysically given" clouds the issues. It's PHYSICALLY given, (emergent).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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26-07-2014, 11:45 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 11:22 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Consciousness is an emergent property of (physical) sensual stimuli referenced to memory. In a way it's an illusion, as what we perceive as "present" is in fact already (slightly) past, as it takes some (small ) amount of time to route the information. In the absence of healthy intact functioning brain and sensory systems, it does not "emerge".
It's entirely dependent on working physical systems and structures. To say it's "metaphysically given" clouds the issues. It's PHYSICALLY given, (emergent).

Bucky Ball. You can use whatever term you like. You can substitute nature if you want. The term is simply a way of distinguishing between those things which can not be ruled by conscious or by will or by chance but by the law of identity. Nature is not true or false, it just is. It needs no explanation or "accounting for" it is the means by which we explain things. The man made does need to be evaluated and judged true or false and the metaphysically given or nature if you prefer is what we use to evaluate the man made.

Yep it's true that we do observe things over time. Time is simply an omitted measurement. The past and future are just extensions of the present. I agree with you that consciousness is an emergent property or attribute of physical brains. It is not an entity itself but it still exists and possesses an identity.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-07-2014, 11:58 PM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 11:08 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I'm really at a loss for words.

Consciousness doesn't exist.....and you know this by means of your.....blank out.

Thanks for the discussion.
Do you think the mind exists or do you think it is a conceptual description of the workings of the brain?

The brain exists as a physical system. As the brain operates it has chemical and electrical processes which means it is in a constant state of physical change.

The mind is a conceptual abstraction of these physical processes and states. The mind does not exist, it is merely a concept, a simplified view of what goes on in the brain.

Numbers do not exist, shapes do not exist.
You can never answer the questions:
How big is the number 1?
How big is a circle?
How big is a mind?
How big is a soul?
How big is a consciousness?

Because these things aren't physical, they are only simplified concepts, allowing us, in our limited ways to model reality.
We can create a clock, in the shape of a circle, this clock is physical, it is made of a substance, it has a defined size, it occupies space. We can apply Newtonian physics to this clock. We can lift it with a pulley, we can calculate its weight, its acceleration, we can calculate the tension in the rope use to lift the clock.
But we cannot apply Newtonian physics to a circle or to a consciousness, we cannot calculate the work needed to lift a circle or a consciousness using a pulley system.
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27-07-2014, 12:00 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 11:18 PM)cjlr Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 11:15 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  "But it is not something that exists." Stevil

He said that consciousness was a vague catchall term. Which is true. It refers to no specific process or phenomenon.

Except that it does refer to a specific process or phenomenon. It is an attribute of living creatures. It is not an entity but it does possess a specific set of attributes or a nature, i.e. an identity. The word "consciousness" is not a vague catchall term to me. As I use it it refers to the the faculty that perceives that which exists. That's a pretty specific function. It doesn't perceive that which doesn't exist. I have gone to great lengths to explain the concept of "existence" as Objectivism informs it, as the widest possible concept that includes literally everything that exists including physical things and non physical things like concepts. So to me there is no way to say something doesn't exist while still using it as a concept to denote a thing that exists.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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27-07-2014, 12:18 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(27-07-2014 12:00 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Except that it does refer to a specific process or phenomenon. It is an attribute of living creatures. It is not an entity but it does possess a specific set of attributes or a nature, i.e. an identity. The word "consciousness" is not a vague catchall term to me.

Very well then; define it. What animals possess it? What qualities distinguish it?

(27-07-2014 12:00 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  As I use it it refers to the the faculty that perceives that which exists. That's a pretty specific function. It doesn't perceive that which doesn't exist.

That is an extraordinarily vague definition. All living things - tautologically - interact, to greater or lesser extent, with that which exists (besides themselves).

Do you admit of exceptions? Human awareness absolutely perceives that which does not exist.

Notwithstanding you've not defined "exist"...

(27-07-2014 12:00 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I have gone to great lengths to explain the concept of "existence" as Objectivism informs it, as the widest possible concept that includes literally everything that exists including physical things and non physical things like concepts. So to me there is no way to say something doesn't exist while still using it as a concept to denote a thing that exists.

That amounts to circular assertion. It's all very well for you to endorse your own definitions. But you still need to differentiate between types of existence.

We all use imprecise terms to treat uncertain concepts as though they possessed definite existence. It's called abstraction.

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27-07-2014, 12:24 AM
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(26-07-2014 11:58 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(26-07-2014 11:08 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  I'm really at a loss for words.

Consciousness doesn't exist.....and you know this by means of your.....blank out.

Thanks for the discussion.
Do you think the mind exists or do you think it is a conceptual description of the workings of the brain?

The brain exists as a physical system. As the brain operates it has chemical and electrical processes which means it is in a constant state of physical change.

The mind is a conceptual abstraction of these physical processes and states. The mind does not exist, it is merely a concept, a simplified view of what goes on in the brain.

Numbers do not exist, shapes do not exist.
You can never answer the questions:
How big is the number 1?
How big is a circle?
How big is a mind?
How big is a soul?
How big is a consciousness?

Because these things aren't physical, they are only simplified concepts, allowing us, in our limited ways to model reality.
We can create a clock, in the shape of a circle, this clock is physical, it is made of a substance, it has a defined size, it occupies space. We can apply Newtonian physics to this clock. We can lift it with a pulley, we can calculate its weight, its acceleration, we can calculate the tension in the rope use to lift the clock.
But we cannot apply Newtonian physics to a circle or to a consciousness, we cannot calculate the work needed to lift a circle or a consciousness using a pulley system.

Yes consciousness exists. I never said consciousness was physical. It is not an entity. It does however possess an identity, a specific nature. Existence is identity. Numbers and shapes are concepts and concepts exist possessing identity as well even though they aren't physical. All knowledge is conceptual in nature. Are you going to say that knowledge doesn't exist because it is not physical. Are you going to say that cognition doesn't exist?

When we form a concept we do so by retaining all the similar attributes of a group of things while omitting their measurements. Measurement omission is a crucial step in forming open ended concepts. The size or the length or the volume must exist in some quantity but can exist in any quantity. It is similar to an algebraic equation like 2A = A + A where A must be some quantity but can be any quantity. a number is a symbol denoting a concept that references a specific quantity of things. A number can be any size but must be some size. The same with a shape or any other referent of a concept.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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27-07-2014, 12:27 AM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2014 12:50 AM by nietzsche101.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
@RobbyPants

you keep saying I should follow "morality"...
but at the end of the day, your notion of "morality" is nothing more than just "act upon your self-interest"!

You can't just answer my question "why should one act morally?"(fairly), by just redefining morality to mean "act in your own self interest"
- In the way almost everyone uses the word....."Morality" is the opposite of "act in your own self interest",

You can argue that there is no difference between these, and that altruism-egoism is a false dichotomy.... which you have done
but then you keep trying to tell me that there is a difference?

-you want your cake, and to eat it to!



so what is it.. is altruism-egoism a relevant dichotomy? or not?
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27-07-2014, 12:43 AM (This post was last modified: 27-07-2014 12:55 AM by true scotsman.)
RE: Naturalism = Nihilism?
(27-07-2014 12:18 AM)cjlr Wrote:  
(27-07-2014 12:00 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Except that it does refer to a specific process or phenomenon. It is an attribute of living creatures. It is not an entity but it does possess a specific set of attributes or a nature, i.e. an identity. The word "consciousness" is not a vague catchall term to me.

Very well then; define it. What animals possess it? What qualities distinguish it?

(27-07-2014 12:00 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  As I use it it refers to the the faculty that perceives that which exists. That's a pretty specific function. It doesn't perceive that which doesn't exist.

That is an extraordinarily vague definition. All living things - tautologically - interact, to greater or lesser extent, with that which exists (besides themselves).

Do you admit of exceptions? Human awareness absolutely perceives that which does not exist.

Notwithstanding you've not defined "exist"...

(27-07-2014 12:00 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  I have gone to great lengths to explain the concept of "existence" as Objectivism informs it, as the widest possible concept that includes literally everything that exists including physical things and non physical things like concepts. So to me there is no way to say something doesn't exist while still using it as a concept to denote a thing that exists.

That amounts to circular assertion. It's all very well for you to endorse your own definitions. But you still need to differentiate between types of existence.

We all use imprecise terms to treat uncertain concepts as though they possessed definite existence. It's called abstraction.

It doesn't really matter what animals possess it as long as some do and we know that Humans do and since we are talking about Human knowledge, Human consciousness is the only relevant consciousness. It is volitional and conceptual in nature as opposed to simple perceptual or sensory as in the lower animals.

If you are looking for a definition of of the concept existence in terms of more fundamental concepts, as I have already explained, the concept existence, as Objectivism informs it is axiomatic and can not be defined in terms of more fundamental concepts. It can only be defined ostensively. Objectivism does not simply say that existence exists and then stop there. The concept existence is the starting point for further induction as I have already done by making a distinction between the natural and the man made. And since the concept "existence" as Objectivism informs it is not defined in terms of any antecedent concepts there is no circularity there. I'm not making up my own definitions. Since the concept subsumes all existents what has my definition left out? We can add more specific definitions as we move up the conceptual hierarchy.

good night I'm off to bed. talk to you tomorrow.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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