Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
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31-08-2015, 11:30 AM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2015 11:33 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 10:37 AM)epronovost Wrote:  [quote]@Tomasia

Can you define what you consider rational thinking now, its component and expected behavior? You haven't answered the question yet, made a side glance to absolute knowledge and finally jumped materialism and its relation to free will and morality which is not very pertinent to the question.

If I were to define rational thinking, I’d define it as state in which one can see the truth clearly. For me that would require not just an ability to see the truth clearly, but a truth that wants me to see it clearly. If we are a means for the cosmos to know itself, it would be a cosmos that desires us to know it. I have to believe in some sort of “spooky glue” that entwines it together, a sensation of what is true to what in fact is true.

I have no way of proving this is the case, and I have to take it on faith, to continue believing in rational thinking (which is relatively easy being a believer). This wasn’t always case, I didn’t always believe this, and was perfectly fine in accepting a materialistic account of “rational thinking” as a default. I never really thought about it, I just accepted it, it seemed like common sense, I never really bothered to think of it more critically.

But it’s been my introductions to dualist atheists, like Chalmers, and Nagel, that screwed this all up for me. That to reduce it all to the neurochemical level is unattainable, for a variety of reasons, some of which were illustrated here. At that level the same problem arises for “rational thinking” as it does for “free-will”.

If I abandoned this belief in spooky stuff, I don’t see any other viable option, than believing that things in which I find true, are elicited by an appealing sensation. If those appealing sensations were associated with another set of beliefs, I would think those where true. So when I seek what I believe to be truth, I’m just looking for things that evoke that sensation for me, things that don’t evoke that sensation are false, things that do are true.

If that sensation is evoked when i talk to my mother on the phone, then she is in fact my mother, where as if meeting her in person, that sensation is not evoked, than she’s not my mother, but an imposter.
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31-08-2015, 11:31 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
Why is it a thing still?

Because it is a way to hold onto the concept of free will and agency. Because it is a way to pretend that death does not have to be terminal. Because it has been advantageous to assume agency in others and dualism aids that.

Take your pick of reasons.
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31-08-2015, 11:38 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 11:30 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(31-08-2015 10:37 AM)epronovost Wrote:  Can you define what you consider rational thinking now, its component and expected behavior?

If I were to define rational thinking, I’d define it as state in which one can see the truth clearly.

No wonder that you're having such difficulty arguing successfully. Your definition is nonsensical and has nothing to do with the concept of rational thought as discussed by anyone else.

(31-08-2015 11:30 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  For me that would require not just an ability to see the truth clearly, but a truth that wants me to see it clearly. If we are a means for the cosmos to know itself, it would be a cosmos that desires us to know it. I have to believe in some sort of “spooky glue” that entwines it together, a sensation of what is true to what in fact is true.

Gibberish.

(31-08-2015 11:30 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  But it’s been my introductions to dualist atheists, like Chalmers, and Nagel, that screwed this all up for me. That to reduce it all to the neurochemical level is unattainable, for a variety of reasons, some of which were illustrated here.

None of which have been illustrated anywhere, I'm afraid.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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31-08-2015, 11:47 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
Recent data shows that most of our assumptions on the idea of "free will" is illusion, because our "moist robot" brains operate much more automatically than most of us think. As I have said many times, we are more than the sum of our parts, but we should pretend those parts are something other than what they are.

From the Amazon.com summary:

A BELIEF IN FREE WILL touches nearly everything that human beings value. It is difficult to think about law, politics, religion, public policy, intimate relationships, morality—as well as feelings of remorse or personal achievement—without first imagining that every person is the true source of his or her thoughts and actions. And yet the facts tell us that free will is an illusion.

In this enlightening book, Sam Harris argues that this truth about the human mind does not undermine morality or diminish the importance of social and political freedom, but it can and should change the way we think about some of the most important questions in life.


http://www.amazon.com/Free-Will-Sam-Harr...877&sr=1-1

And others have addressed the issue as well:

Research in neuroscience has revealed a startling fact that revolutionizes much of what we humans have previously taken for granted about our interactions with the world outside our heads: Our consciousness is really not in charge of our behavior.

Laboratory experiments show that before we become aware of making a decision, our brains have already laid the groundwork for it. In a recent book, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, physicist Leonard Mlodinow reviews a wide range of psychological experiments that demonstrate the dominant role the unconscious plays in our behavior. This recognition challenges fundamental assumptions about free will and the associated religious teachings about sin and redemption, as well as our judicial concepts of responsibility and punishment.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-ste...62533.html

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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31-08-2015, 11:54 AM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 11:30 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If I were to define rational thinking, I’d define it as state in which one can see the truth clearly. For me that would require not just an ability to see the truth clearly, but a truth that wants me to see it clearly. If we are a means for the cosmos to know itself, it would be a cosmos that desires us to know it. I have to believe in some sort of “spooky glue” that entwines it together, a sensation of what is true to what in fact is true.

You are just saying the meaning you attach to the term is not true, and many probably would agree with that. Others have defined it differently here, though.

Rational thinking doesn't necessarily beget truth. It can have nothing to do with it. Example:

It is rational to believe Australia exists because its concept is consistent with what I have observed, even though I've never observed Australia directly. And of all the reasons I have observed humans lying for, I cannot fathom a reason that would make so many humans lie about Australia existing, so it is rational to assume there isn't a lie. Australia existing is not in contradiction with any of my other convictions about the physical world, or human psychology; rather it is extremely consistent with it. It could still, as a fact, not exist, but it is nevertheless rational to believe it does.

Quote: to reduce it all to the neurochemical level is unattainable, for a variety of reasons, some of which were illustrated here. At that level the same problem arises for “rational thinking” as it does for “free-will”.
?
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31-08-2015, 12:04 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2015 12:13 PM by Tomasia.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 10:53 AM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Any sort of thought of which you are consciously aware. It's rather straightforward.

If conscious thought can be both irrational or rational, than I'm not too sure what connection you're trying to make with it and rational thought?

Have you ever heard of blindsight?

“Though mysterious, no one thought that these experiments had much relevance for human vision. Then a patient (named DB in the subsequent reports) had his right hemisphere’s primary visual cortex removed at a London hospital to relieve symptoms caused by a brain tumor. After surgery, DB was subjected to the same experiments the monkeys had been subjected to, with the same startling results. Because DB could talk as well as act, he was able to confirm that, being blind, he had no visual experience of colors. But when asked to reach for something yellow among a set of colored objects, he succeeded in doing so. When asked whether the yellow object was on the left or right, he pointed in the correct direction, though he reported that he could not see anything yellow anywhere in front of him. When asked to point to a square object and ignore a round one, he was able to do that, too, though he had no conscious experience of anything round or square in his visual field. When asked whether a grillwork grating in front of him had horizontal or vertical lines, he gave the right answer, though again, he had no visual “experience of (he couldn’t “see”) the grating itself. When told of the experimental results, DB didn’t believe them. He insisted he had just been guessing—that’s what the introspective feeling told him he had been doing. DB was the first of many victims of damage in the primary visual cortex who have shown the same abilities. They can discriminate visual stimuli without any conscious visual experience of the stimuli. It’s not just simple stimuli they can discriminate. People with blindsight can tell the emotion expressed by faces projected on a screen in front of them even though they can’t “see” the faces.”

Excerpt From: Rosenberg, Alex. “The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life without Illusions.” iBooks. […]”

Perhaps you can see from this example, why consciousness is not as reliable as may be imagined.

Quote:Where you go off the rails is in saying, quite incoherently, that because someone might feel that they are being rational when they are not, rational thought does not exist.

The feeling of being rational exist, but as far as the level of the brain is concerned, there's no distinction between the feeling of being rational, and actually being rational. That as far as human character is concerned it's just the feeling of being rational, that feeling might correspond to some things that are in fact true, but it doesn't have to, unless you belief in the spooky alternative that what in fact is true, can only evoke that sensation in you. While those thing which are false can't.
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31-08-2015, 12:16 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 12:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  If conscious thought can be both irrational or rational, than I'm not too sure what connection you're trying to make with it and rational thought?

That rational thought exists, because conscious thought can be rational.

This isn't difficult - unless, of course, you try and crowbar in a nonsense definition that has nothing to do with the concepts everyone else is actually referring to.

(31-08-2015 12:04 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  
Quote:Where you go off the rails is in saying, quite incoherently, that because someone might feel that they are being rational when they are not, rational thought does not exist.

The feeling of being rational exist, but as far as the level of the brain is concerned, there's no distinction between the feeling of being rational, and actually being rational.

Which is irrelevant, since the criteria for being rational are not dependent upon what you feel. The rules of logical calculus are quite straightforward.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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31-08-2015, 12:28 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 12:16 PM)Unbeliever Wrote:  Which is irrelevant, since the criteria for being rational are not dependent upon what you feel.

Let’s a ask a more specific question:

Is being rational dependent on neurochemical responses? Is being rational dependent on the chemistry of the brain?

Quote:That rational thought exists, because conscious thought can be rational.

This isn't difficult

It is difficult, because it’s not apparent in what your saying here, what distinguishes conscious rational thought from conscious irrational thought at the neurochemical level of the brain. Because false beliefs can produce the same neurochemical reactions as true ones do. Saying that they can't, is going to be quite problematic for you. So I'm guessing you don't want to say that?
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31-08-2015, 12:35 PM (This post was last modified: 31-08-2015 12:38 PM by Unbeliever.)
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
(31-08-2015 12:28 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  Let’s a ask a more specific question:

Is being rational dependent on neurochemical responses? Is being rational dependent on the chemistry of the brain?

Thinking is.

The rationality of the thought in question is only dependent on whether or not it follows the rules of logical calculus.

The sky is blue whether or not your eyes are currently looking at it.

(31-08-2015 12:28 PM)Tomasia Wrote:  It is difficult, because it’s not apparent in what your saying here, what distinguishes conscious rational thought from conscious irrational thought at the neurochemical level of the brain.

I never said there was. I said that you can necessarily tell whether or not a thought is rational or not if you examine it, not that the brain necessarily has two separate processing centers for irrational versus irrational thought.

This is why I asked you to elaborate on what you meant by "at the level of the brain" earlier. You have issues communicating clearly, and simply assume that everyone else knows what you mean by these nonsense phrases. You also alter definitions so that they do not in any way reflect what anyone else means when they use the phrase in question and then attack others for "supporting" your straw man.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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31-08-2015, 12:36 PM
RE: Substance dualism, why is it still a thing?
@Tomasia


I think we are having a misunderstanding on what defining one's term means. You, again, just provided your opinion and your disbelief on the concept of rational thought without providing any clear definition of the said concept and no components and expected behavior that would constitute elements of rational thinking or demonstrate it. Instead, you have created a non-definition that requires still more explanations and requirea to delve deeper into your own thought system, thus preventing us to analyse it and debate it. I would also point out that your pseudo definition commits the fallacy of reduction to the absurd and thus is useless.
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