Open thread for 20.20: Matt with special guests Annie Laurie Gaylor & Dan Barker


Annie Laurie and Dan talk about The Freedom From Religion Foundation and their current projects.

Comments

  1. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    It was fantastic to hear from those two pillars of secularism. Nothing bad to say about the calls, overall a good show, thank you to the backstage crew for their continuous hard work.

  2. jeffh123 says

    Excellent show. I would say having the crosses on police cars would allow the officers to deny police services to someone because the officer’s religion doesn’t like jews, muslims, atheists, etc., just like that tow truck driver.

  3. gnostic says

    I’m no lawyer, but I wonder about that newly filed lawsuit trying to get a secular opening speech (whatever the term was) in front of Congress. It seems to me that having a secular speech might help Congress defend the existence of the chaplaincy inside of government, because they could argue it allows access for people of any religion or none at all and therefore it isn’t a violation of the establishment clause. Wouldn’t it be better to challenge the existence of this chaplaincy now, when its purely religious purpose is completely clear?

  4. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    I didn’t see this one live, and I haven’t listened to it yet, but I would just like to say “woo!” in advance, because that’s an awesome pair of guests you got this week.
    I look forward to hearing what they have to say about whether or not the moon proves the existence of a god in general and Jesus H Christ in particular. (Or similar claims)

  5. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Merkle Paul (1:38:58):

    … a theory I discovered called the quadrant model… reality isn’t structured in an arbitrary irregular manner, that there’s a pattern underlying reality that’s seen everywhere

     
    Article: Wikipedia – Integral theory

    Integral theory is Ken Wilber’s attempt to place a wide diversity of theories and thinkers into one single framework. It is portrayed as a “theory of everything” […] Wilber’s ideas have mainly attracted attention in specific subcultures, and have been widely ignored in academia.
     
    See also: Spiritual evolution, Perennial philosophy, and Great chain of being
     
    Ken Wilber’s “Integral Theory” started as early as the 1970s, […] to synthesize eastern religious traditions with western structural stage theory, models of psychology development that describe human development as following a set course of stages of development.
     
    Wilber’s ideas have grown more and more inclusive over the years, […] a theory which he calls AQAL, “All Quadrants All Levels”.
     
    According to Wilber’s model, which relies strongly on analogous thinking, human development follows a set course from pre-personal infant development to personal adult development and culminates in trans-personal spiritual development. In Wilber’s model, development starts with the separation of individual consciousness from a transcendental reality. The whole course of human development aims at restoring the primordial unity of human and transcendental consciousness.

     

    It suggests that all human knowledge and experience can be placed in a four-quadrant grid, along the axes of “interior-exterior” and “individual-collective”. According to Wilber, it is one of the most comprehensive approaches to reality, a metatheory that attempts to explain how academic disciplines and every form of knowledge and experience fit together coherently.

     

    * Interior individual accounts (upper-left quadrant) include Freudian psychoanalysis
     
    * Interior plural accounts (lower-left) include Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics which seeks to interpret the collective consciousness of a society
     
    * Exterior individual accounts (upper-right) include B. F. Skinner’s behaviorism, which limits itself to the observation of the behavior of organisms and treats the internal experience, decision making or volition of the subject as a black box
     
    * Exterior plural accounts (lower-right) include Marxist economic theory which focuses upon the behavior of a society
     
    According to Wilber, all four perspectives offer complementary, rather than contradictory, perspectives. It is possible for all to be correct, and all are necessary for a complete account of human existence.
    […]
    According to Wilber modern western society has a pathological focus on the exterior or objective perspective. Such perspectives value that which can be externally measured and tested in a laboratory, but tend to deny or marginalize the left sides (subjectivity, individual experience, feelings, values) as unproven or having no meaning. Wilber identifies this as a fundamental cause of society’s malaise

  6. PeterFromLondonUK says

    We all agree that physical is slowed down energy. (look it up.)

    So energy can become conscious.

    Energy becoming conscious without intelligent manipulation is a belief, beliefs count for nothing as there is only one truth which is not dependent on you knowing about it.

    You do not have any proof for your beliefs.

    Humans were designed by God to live forever on Earth. Only 144,000 humans go to heaven to rule in the heavenly government kingdom over the Earth for 1000 years to bring back perfection.

  7. PeterFromLondonUK says

    You have faith that energy can become conscious without intelligent manipulation.

  8. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    @PeterFromLondonUK

    We all agree that physical is slowed down energy. (look it up.)

    No we don’t. Mass and energy are convertible, with a conversion rate of the square of the speed of light in a vacuum. That doesn’t mean that matter is “slowed down energy.”

    So energy can become conscious.

    Nope. You’re thinking of Star Trek. I like Star Trek, though. 🙂

    Energy becoming conscious without intelligent manipulation is a belief, beliefs count for nothing as there is only one truth which is not dependent on you knowing about it.

    No, believing that energy becomes conscious without intelligent manipulation is a belief. If energy does somehow become conscious without intelligent manipulation, that’s a process. But since that belief is based on things that scientifically literate people don’t believe, it’s not really relevant.

    Only 144,000 humans go to heaven to rule in the heavenly government kingdom over the Earth for 1000 years to bring back perfection.

    There must be some kind of way out of here?

    You have faith that energy can become conscious without intelligent manipulation.

    Nope. There’s a reason why the hosts of AXP ask, “what do you believe and why?” It’s because starting your argument without bothering to find out or understand what your opponent believes – or if they should even be considered your opponent – always leads to embarrassment.

    —–

    Uh, anyway, I was just coming back around to say that I enjoyed the show. There was a specific thing I was going to say, but I forgot it. :\

  9. hermantf says

    Oh wow! Annie Laurie Gaylor is the same woman who was on Oprah back in the mid 80’s! The video is up on youtube (search for Oprah Atheism). It’s amazing how far the Atheist movement has come since that time. Great to see that she’s still doing this!

  10. Devocate says

    @8:
    “You have faith that energy can become conscious without intelligent manipulation.”

    Of course not. I have *observed* it.

    You on the other hand, have *never* observed energy become conscious *with* intelligent manipulation.

  11. Bruce Smith says

    @PeterFromLondonUK

    ‘You do not have any proof for your beliefs.”

    “Humans were designed by God to live forever on Earth”

    Do you have proof that God exists? You have to do that before you can know anything about God’s abilities like that he/she/it can (and did) design humans and if you can prove God exists, and if you can prove God can (and did) design humans, you would then have to prove God can design humans that can live forever and then that these forever-living-humans can live forever on Earth (do you have evidence that Earth will be here forever?). That second sentence quoted above has a lot of unproven claims in it (if you can prove it, I think you’ll be famous). You are WAY ahead of yourself until you can prove the first thing you need to prove.

  12. mond says

    @PeterFromLondonUK

    Fail, Fail, Fail, Fail on all counts.

    Also, don’t assert something as true and say ‘look it up’ and not supply a link. It makes you look stoopid (sic).

  13. PeterFromLondonUK says

    12. You do not have proof for your belief. You presume it is without intelligence, but this is not the truth.

  14. mond says

    Totally unrelated to the thread but just watched “Lost” Atheist experience #142 with Jeff Dee, Martin Wagner and Don Rhoades.
    Did a super big LOL when the last caller at the end of the video turned out to be Alex Jones phoning into the show with his nonsense. Alex did say that he had previously bumped into Jeff in the studio when he had been doing his own show.

  15. Chancellor of the Exchequer says

    10. Vivec says

    God, here we go again.

    That’s my cue to grab my popcorn.

  16. Chikoppi says

    Oh please, please, please…can we create a theoretical cage match between Superatheist and PeterFromLondonUK?!

    Super Immortality vs. Quadrant Model! A fight to the finish where there are no winners, only carnage!

  17. Athywren - not the moon you're looking for says

    Hrrrgh. Apparently, if you forget to change the “what shutting the laptop lid does” option to hibernate instead of shut down, it still shuts down when you close the laptop lid. Who knew? If my Crusader Kings 2 save got corrupted, I may have to cry.

    @PeterFromLondon
    That guy has lovely eyebrows, but something tells me that the two videos you shared, one of which you shared three times for some reason, are not designed to give you a firm understanding of physics so much as to put the basic concepts out there in easy to grasp, but not necessarily accurate ways. Kind of like how a-level chemistry classes teach you that electrons orbit neatly around their atoms, like planets around the sun, when they’re actually kind of just fizzing around, more or less randomly, in regions that sort of fit with orbital model. They seem like cool videos, don’t get me wrong, but watching them doesn’t make you an expert on the topics they cover.

  18. BillBo says

    15. You are just using the logical fallacy called “God of the gaps”. Google it if you don’t know what that is. The correct answer when you don’t know something is to say “I don’t know”, not to start proclaiming something nobody CAN know to be the truth. Say that we could and did know for certain that a supernatural mind created the universe. So what?

  19. superatheist says

    Chikoppi (24)
    Thanks for bringing ups superimmortality without mentioning it by name. I now have a reason to show why superimmortality is much superior to any religious theory of immortality or life after death. I mentioned this fact to Russell and Don at episode (20.19). Now I can prove it here at (20.20).

    PeterFromLondonUK(7)
    You wrote:
    “Energy becoming conscious without intelligent manipulation is a belief, beliefs count for nothing as there is only one truth which is not dependent on you knowing about it.
    You do not have any proof for your beliefs.
    Humans were designed by God to live forever on Earth. Only 144,000 humans go to heaven to rule in the heavenly government kingdom over the Earth for 1000 years to bring back perfection.”

    The first reason that superimmortality is better than your religious theory is that superimmortality does not require a god of any kind, especially not a mean incompetent god like the one the bible portrays that causes immense suffering for apparently no reason, but that he apparently likes to see it or can do nothing to stop it. You may not be one of the 144,000 people that god happens to like at the supposed end time.

    The second reason is that superimmortality is better that religious theories of life after death is that it does not require any supernatural concepts like souls, mind substances, immaterial selves, spirits, devils, ghouls, demons, hell or heaven, etc.

    3. It does not require a person to give up on rational thought, science, reasoning, etc., in favor of blind faith based on a book created by ignorant people thousand of years ago when they knew little to nothing about science and especially about how consciousnesses that you can experience are created.

    4. Superimmortality does not threaten you with hell or heaven, if you do or do not believe and think a certain way. Diversity of conscious experience is highly respected, desired, and allowed in a superimmortal aware world.

    5. Superimmortality is a very positive theory of immortality. Every conscious being is superimmortal whether they are aware of it or not. People that have had awful lives can work toward or potentially look forward to lives that are much better in the future.

    6. You can and do have an effect on the consciousnesses that you will experience in the future. Thus you can make them better and better endlessly into the future or the opposite if you so desire.

    7. Every positive thing that religious theories offer like seeing loved friends and relatives after their or your death is naturally and, or technologically producible.

    8. The supporting evidence for superimmortality, being true and a scientific theory, will only increase over time.

    9. Superimmortality does not guarantee that you will ever experience consciousness existence again after this life. So it is still a good idea to make the most of each life you get to experience. But science dealing with superimmortality shows how the probability of conscious existence, after death, is enumerably increased over the often held belief that death is the permanent end of your conscious existence.

    10. You can be an atheist and still believe that it is scientifically possible to consciously exist after death again and again. But there is no necessity in believing this. You can believe anything you want and still be superimmortal. But you are more likely to consciously exist again if you create a society that exists and scientifically advances endlessly into the future. Which is the antithesis of most religious beliefs. That are anti-science and thinks that god is going to destroy the world eventually.

  20. Chikoppi says

    Ha ha ha! I have become death, destroyer of worlds! It’s like a self-sustaining fission reaction of inane word soup. The entire opening salvo is argument from ignorance vs. an appeal to consequence. Literally the battle of the fallacies!

  21. Patrick67 says

    Chikoppi has unleased the concept of fallacide on an unsuspecting Earth! And here we have wasted most of our lives worrying about Nuclear Winter from conventional sources. Horror awaits us.

  22. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @Patrick67 #30:

    Chikoppi has unleased the concept of fallacide

    Gird your loins!

  23. Vivec says

    Oh dear lord, it’s like Alien vs Predator where neither could think their way out of a cardboard box.

  24. S. M. Hall says

    No one ever see to mention that these “Ten Commandments” monuments out on public property particularly courthouse law is an indication by Christian Dominionists that our legal institutions are derived from Judeo-Christian laws, which is absolutely false. American legal institutions and theories were modeled after Great Britain’s, which are derived from the Greco-Roman legal system and English Common Law, so most of our legal terms are in Latin, NOT HEBREW.

    When that monument in Alabama was first removed from a state courthouse and that state Supreme Court justice was removed, I remember someone I was at a social event with citing the injustice of its removal, and I said, “The Hebrews got the commandments, and, in the next chapter of the bible, they march into The Land of Canaan, kill all the people, and steal their land”. A clergyman present cracked up laughing.

  25. mond says

    Nice point S.M. Hall

    The interesting question about the 10 commandments, once you have decided which ones to use, is how many are are actually current day Law in the United States.

    I would say us could argue the following

    thou shalt not steal
    thou shalt not bear false witness (If interpreted to mean lying under oath)
    thou shalt not kill (with the caveat of that not all killing is not deemed illegal – self defence, military etc)

    That’s it. Nothing else on the list is enforceable by law..
    In fact the 1st commandment (Thou shalt have no other gods before me) is expressly against the US constitution.

  26. StonedRanger says

    Chikoppi, for the love of gawd. Be careful what you wish for. I cant join the conversation with either of them because I have nothing positive to add. Just smfh.

  27. S. M. Hall says

    I wrote the commandments have nothing to do with American law, but Christians believe they do, for no dog reason, and you then write about their applicability as if this falsehood had any applicability. The people who wrote them didn’t even believe in them, according to their own mythological text.

  28. S. M. Hall says

    I wrote the commandments have nothing to do with American law, but Christians believe they do, for no good reason, and you then write about their applicability as if this falsehood had any applicability. The people who wrote them didn’t even believe in them, according to their own mythological text.

  29. mond says

    @S.M Hall

    It is called trying to generate a bit of cognitive dissonance in the modern believer.

    Many Christians believe that the ten commandments are basis on American law.
    Even with a generous interpretation, *maybe* 3 commandments co-inside with US laws and another one is against the constitution.
    If the the commandments are the basis of US law then how can christians square that circle?
    The Christian country (sic) does even follow the basic laws given directly from their deity.

  30. ironchops says

    1. Just recently Sheriff Danny Diggs of Yorktown Virginia added “In God We Trust” to the York county police cars. Here is the link to the article. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUKEwiz89iZ3vXMAhUD9YMKHQ09Bz4QFggvMAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwavy.com%2F2016%2F02%2F08%2Fsheriffs-office-puts-in-god-we-trust-on-its-patrol-cars%2F&usg=AFQjCNGH3B4cs3prDQcKt3E4Bdn5r-8Egg&bvm=bv.122852650,bs.2,d.cWw
    2. @ S.M.Hall & mond – The Christian community lives by “grace” since the 10 commandments and the law were fulfilled by the death of the Jesus character. Now they can do anything they want as long as they can somehow construe their action into some form of apologetic reasoning (bullshit excuse).

  31. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal (168)(20.19)

    What is the term for qualia over a life time? Or a specific time period like a year? Why are we not using the term consciousness? If we say that two different people have identical qualia for a life time is this the same as saying they have identical consciousnesses over their life times? Does qualia change with the change in structure and functioning of the body? If we duplicate the same structure and functioning in the same body do we duplicate the same qualia? How does qualia tie “you” together from one moment in your life to the next? Do you believe that there is a “you” to be tied together in the first place?

  32. superatheist says

    Chikoppi (165) (20.19)

    You wrote:

    “Given Thing 1 (T1) and Thing 2 (T2), each with a distinct set of properties (P):
    T1 = P1, T2 = P2
    Change the properties of Thing 2 to be identical to be identical to those of Thing 1:
    T1 = P1, T2 = P1”

    Lets be more specific with your symbolic syntax, where “T(n)” represents the thing or object And “P(n)” represents the properties of the thing:

    T1 = T1(P1 …. Pn) = T1(P1),T1(P2) … T1(Pn) = (T1P1),(T1P2) … (T1Pn)

    T2 = T2(P1 …. Pn) = T2(P1),T2(P2) … T1(Pn) = (T2P1),(T2P2) … (T2Pn)

    The property of being from a specific object (T), you state, some how modifies that property (P) so that it is no longer (P) but (TP). So you conclude for any two different T’s (T1P) can never be identical to (T2P).

    (/=) means not equal
    Therefore:
    (T1P1) /= (T2P1), (T1P2) /= (T2P2),….(T1Pn) /= (T2Pn)

    Conclusion:
    No two properties of different objects can be equal because they are properties of different objects.

    This conclusion contradicts experimental evidence that properties of different objects can be identical. Such as mass, temperature, color, structure and functioning, behavior, self identity, qualia, consciousness, ixperiencitness, etc.

    A more correct symbolic syntax representing the experimental evidence is

    T1 = (P1 …. Pn) + (Pn+1… Po)
    T2 = (P1 …. Pn) + ( Po+1…. Pq)

    where object T1 shares properties (P1 …. Pn) with T2 but not properties (Pn+1) to property (Pq).

    Pauli exclusion principle states that two identical fermions (particles with half-integer spin) cannot occupy the same quantum state simultaneously. I use this as evidence that two different material objects can not have the property of existing in the same place at the same time.

    What is your evidence that other properties of two different objects can not be identical?

  33. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    I don’t know why you switched threads. Please move back to the other thread. Especially if you didn’t call into this show of this thread, please move back to the other thread.

  34. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal(44)

    The signal that I get through my internet service is a negative 80 decibels at best if it is less than that it drops the signal completely. A little rain, dust, leaves, can drop the signal. The longer the the blog becomes the more difficult it is for me to access it— send and receive it. I think it is not only the internet service but how my computer is programed to respond to this poor internet service that maybe is the problem. Often the computer gets caught up in a processing loop where it can take a half hour to start responding again. So in the middle of reading or writing a blog post, I have often had to reboot. When I was waiting on the phone to talk on 20.19 the phone dropped the signal 7 times. I could not believe my luck when it did not drop when I talked to them this time. I am actually glad they cut it short I am sure the phone would have lost it signal again soon. When I called previously on show (20.15) the call was dropped in the middle of my conversation with Russell and Don.
    I totally understand If you wish no longer to respond. Sorry for any trouble upset that I have caused.
    The reason that the signal is so bad is that the closest tower that I can access is about 30 miles away and the signal travels close to the ground through all sorts of ground clutter. Cell phones do not work here either. For me, living out in country, in the mountains, is worth the problems that it other wise causes.

    I am still in the process of responding to D(131)(20.19) I am sorry I have not gotten back yet to this (your) comments.

    “You want to say that P determines identity. It doesn’t. Two things that have the same properties are still two different and distinct things, each with a different and distinct identity. Even if those things are exactly identical in every way each must have a discreet identity in order to exist as a thing. No matter how many times P changes there remain two things and two identities.”

    Honestly, I do not see how what you are stating proves or supplies much of any evidence for the statement that two different people can not have the same identical consciousness and ixperiencitness (idential qualia over a period of time), if the structure and functioning is identical over that period of time. Keep in mind that if the environment is different enough it will make the structure and functioning of each one diverge (become different) thus the consciousness will be different.

  35. Monocle Smile says

    Is anybody else not surprised that superatheist is a hermit with an air of some nutty mad scientist who “invents” technology from 30 years ago in his garage?

    Honestly, I do not see how what you are stating proves or supplies much of any evidence for the statement that two different people can not have the same identical consciousness and ixperiencitness

    The key part of this passage is the “two different people.” For some reason, this hasn’t made it through the cobwebs cluttering up your skull.

  36. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Honestly, I do not see how what you are stating proves or supplies much of any evidence for the statement that two different people can not have the same identical consciousness and ixperiencitness

    Can two separate people have identical qualia? Yes, in obscure scifi scenarios where they have exactly the same brain with exactly the same sensory input.

    Otherwise, I still don’t know what the means, and further, you also haven’t presented any evidence in favor of your position. Ergo, this is an unfair shifting of the burden of proof, and it’s a fallacious argument from ignorance.

    PS:
    Also, if you’re technically inclined in any way: Assuming Windows operating system, download notepad++ or some other program that auto-saves as you type, then copy-paste when you’re ready to post. Also, if page load times is a problem, get Firefox and NoScript. It’s amazingly useful assuming a decent degree of technical competence, but it can be annoying to use for most users. I love it, but then again I am a glutton for certain kinds of self inflicted pain.

  37. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal(47)

    Thank you for the computer tips! I have an IMac with its operating system. I try to write on a word processing program and then transfer it over, but like right now I am risking it by typing right into the comment section. It usually goes through on the second try at night when the post is short without putting the computer in a near endless loop. It does help a lot when the total blog length is shorter. Thank you for responding over here!

    You wrote:

    “Can two separate people have identical qualia? Yes, in obscure scifi scenarios where they have exactly the same brain with exactly the same sensory input.”

    But does this mean, for you, in an “obscure scifi scenario” that one can be a case of life after death for the other? If not then “qualia” may not be what I am talking about.

  38. Chikoppi says

    @Monocle Smile

    Honestly, I do not see how what you are stating proves or supplies much of any evidence for the statement that two different people can not have the same identical consciousness and ixperiencitness.

    The key part of this passage is the “two different people.” For some reason, this hasn’t made it through the cobwebs cluttering up your skull.

    Thank you! I was beginning to doubt the utility of words in communicating meaning, or at least my ability to use them.

  39. superatheist says

    To anyone that want to answer this question:

    Lets do this experiment. We take your body replace 50 percent of the matter in it but it continues to have the same structure and functioning of its body as it would have without the matter replacement. It is still in the same place and time that I would have been without the matter replacement there is continuity and continuousness of the body through time. The resulting body produces the same behavior that it would have produced if this process had not of happened. This body still has all the memories self identity that it had before the matter replacement but no new memories. This is determined through its behavior it is not a defined condition. This is not a “Star Trek” teleportation experiment.

    I say it has the same ixperiencitness as it did before the matter replacement. It has the same identical qualia as before. What do you predict? Is it a continuation of you or not and why?

    Thank you!

  40. Chikoppi says

    Lets do this experiment. We take your body replace 50 percent of the matter in it but it continues to have the same structure and functioning of its body as it would have without the matter replacement. […] Is it a continuation of you or not and why?

    Making vague guesses is not an an experiment.

    Is it objectively the same object? Kind of, but open to interpretation and context. Is it subjectively the same object? From which subjective perspective? It is necessarily different because the two objects exist at different points in time. Subjectively, I am only what I am now. I am not some object in the future, nor am I some object in the past.

    Will the thing that is me now exist in the future? “KInd of.” Can the thing that is me now have any subjective experience of said future thing? No.

  41. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Is it a continuation of you […] ?

    I still don’t know what that phrase means except for the physipath definition, and it’s not “me” according to the physipath definition because of the drastic amount (50%) of replaced material over a very short period of time.

    For the thousandth time, define what you mean with that phrase, please.

  42. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Can the thing that is me now have any subjective experience of said future thing? No.

    I also don’t know what this means except for the physipath definition. What you said makes it sound like you believe in a homunculus / immaterial soul. I’m pretty sure you’re also making the homunculus fallacy.

  43. Chikoppi says

    @EL

    Can the thing that is me now have any subjective experience of said future thing? No.

    I also don’t know what this means except for the physipath definition. What you said makes it sound like you believe in a homunculus / immaterial soul. I’m pretty sure you’re also making the homunculus fallacy.

    Definitely not. It’s hard to get past the inherent bias of language. Let’s try this: “the only direct experience I have is that defined by my present state.” Meaning, the future or past cannot be directly experienced in the present.

  44. superatheist says

    Chikoppi
    Do you actually believe that what you are writing is true, or are you just pretending it is true for the fun of the argument?
    It seem to me that you seem to internalize the truth of it because you have shown signs of emotion in your writing. I think this is fine. It means that people can think differently. I think that is a good thing! I think either way what you write tells me something about you and the more you communicate with people the more that we know about you. Do you agree? I predict, some how, your answer is going to be vague. Of course that my be my fault thinking that I understand you when in fact I do not.

  45. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal (54)

    Is this what you mean by the homunculus fallacy:

    “An argument that accounts for a phenomenon in terms of the very phenomenon that it is supposed to explain, which results in an infinite regress.

    This fallacy creates an endless loop that actually explains nothing. It is fallacious reasoning to accept an explanation that creates this kind of endless loop that lacks any explanatory value.” ?

    If so, can you give me examples of when you think that I am doing it with consciousness, ixperiencitness or other topics.

    If not this specific above definition can you give me the specific definition that you are using and examples?

    Thank you!

  46. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    You keep talking about these things using language that suggests that there is some something that is separate from the brain, separate from consciousness, that experiences qualia. That’s wrong. The brain is conscious. You are conscious. You have / experience qualia. You cannot be divorced from there. There is no separate homunculus that experiences the qualia created by the brain.

    Again, as far as I can tell, you want there to be some magic connection that connects a person through time, such as the homunculus, or an immaterial soul. You keep asking questions to me and others that are functionally equivalent to “do you believe that you have an immaterial soul?”. I do not have an immaterial soul. There is no homunculus separate from the brain that experiences consciousness. There is nothing magic that connects “my” body of 5 minutes ago and “my” body now. The very concept of “my” and “me” is an approximation and a cultural construct. That cultural construct only exists when the physipath definition produces exactly one single unique match through time. When we start talking about reconstructing a brain long after brain death, then there is no longer one single unique match according to the physipath definition, and then our language breaks down. In that situation, one cannot use the physipath definition to talk about a single unique “me” through time. In that situation, you keep making claims like the reconstruction of the brain would be “me”, using terms like “me” that are undefined in that context according to the physipath definition. In such contexts, the only possible meaning that is apparent is to define “me” according to something else, like the homunculus aka an immaterial soul.

    You want magic, but there is no magic.

  47. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Let me put it like this. If you make a clone of me right now, then the clone is not “me”. If I die, and you make a clone of me after my death, that clone is still not me. The only workable definition of “me” that anyone has yet put forward is the physipath definition, and according to the physipath definition, that clone is not me, regardless of whether you create the clone while I’m alive, or after my death.

    I do not mean to imply that there is an immaterial soul that allows anyone to distinguish between me and my clone. That’s getting my position wrong. There is inherent or magical nothing that ties together the person from 5 minutes ago that would be legally recognizes as “the same person” as me of right now. The only thing that ties those two persons together is a cultural construct, the physipath definition. I am this person now. I am not the person of 5 minutes ago. The person of 5 minutes ago is substantially similar to me, but it’s not exactly me, because I change. The person identified by the physipath definition changes over time. No magic ties that together. No soul. No homunculus.

  48. superatheist says

    D(50)
    Thank you! Very good point!

    You wrote:
    “@ Chikoppi, Monocle Smile, possibly others
    Am I correct to read you as using “identity” as proscriptively defined in classical philosophy, a numerical identity ?
    and
    @ superatheist
    Are you using identity to mean more a sociological/psychological qualitative identity and personal identity?
    For myself I have been using the later.”

    Yes! I am using the second definition based on the concept of the structure and functioning of matter producing sociological/psychological qualitative identity and personal identity.

    Earlier I tried to make the distinction between the experiment itself and the results of the experiment. Location in space and time are not important factors in the experiment unless location changes other factors like gravity, radiation, temperature, acceleration. speed, mass, etc.
    We can then delineate this experiment from that experiment. But we can compare and combine the results of the different experiments with out reference to the actual placement of the experiment.

    We thus can talk about two different people (as two numerically different experiments) in two different places and see if they have the same or produce the same consciousness (results of the experiment).

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Again, you can take it as given that everyone here already believes that if you make a perfectly identical clone, and put the two bodies in a room with the same stimulus, then (ignoring possible quantum effects), they will have identical memories, identical behavior, including identical self reports, and they will have / experience identical qualia.

    You need to stop using the term “same consciousness”, because that’s ambiguous. I’m still not sure what you mean.

    I’m also getting annoyed by this, because I’ve explained all of this to you already, and yet you’re still asking the same questions, even though I and several others have already explained that you (apparently) have unanimous agreement here as to what I just wrote in this post. Stop asking the same question over and over again, when I and others have already answered this question quite clearly, and especially when we already agree with you regarding the answer to these particular questions.

    Please move on to the actual disagreement, if any.

  50. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal (60)

    You wrote:

    “There is inherent or magical nothing that ties together the person from 5 minutes ago that would be legally recognizes as “the same person” as me of right now. The only thing that ties those two persons together is a cultural construct, the physipath definition. I am this person now. I am not the person of 5 minutes ago. The person of 5 minutes ago is substantially similar to me, but it’s not exactly me, because I change. The person identified by the physipath definition changes over time. No magic ties that together. No soul. No homunculus.”

    This appears to be very close to the atheist Buddhist belief —- as I understand it to be “there is no self”

    Is this what you believe? If not, can you explain the different please? I am now the one that does not understand. Your position does not appear to be the “soul theory”, “body theory”, “personality theory” of the self, and definitely not the “structure and functioning of matter theory” (of the self) that I am proposing. I have been arguing mostly against the body theory of the self. Now it appears that I need to argue against the “there is no self, theory of the self “. You might be right there may not be a self. The “structure and functioning of matter theory of the self” leads to the self being “multiple” not a singular entity like the soul, body, personality theories. I though it was, with you, multiple versus singular. Now it, maybe, is multiple versus none.

    What I see, to put it in an analogy, for singular theories is that you are like a locomotive racing down a train track. The track represents a person’s life time and the locomotive represents what you are at every instance. The structure and functioning theory of matter analogy is like a wide boulevard with changing numbers of put put cars tearing around in numerous directions. What I see as your analogy for your theory is you are a puff of smoke from the locomotive and your gone, or puff puff puff puff … your gone, each puff being different from the last puff. This is not meant to be insulting in any way.

    What I call the potential me are all the possible paths that the put put cars can possibly make. The actual me are all of the paths that actual put put cars will make over all of time. And the current me are the placement of the put put cars on the track at any one time. What ties this all together is the the boulevard which represents close structure and functioning of matter in a continuum structure.

  51. Chikoppi says

    Do you actually believe that what you are writing is true, or are you just pretending it is true for the fun of the argument?

    What does it matter? I’ve been consistent throughout and have provided my reasoning for each objection I’ve made to your claims. Either my objections are correct or they are not.

  52. Chikoppi says

    @D

    @ Chikoppi, Monocle Smile, possibly others
    Am I correct to read you as using “identity” as proscriptively defined in classical philosophy, a numerical identity ?

    Yes.

    The fact that two things may have one or more properties in common does not make them “the same thing.” For each to be “a thing” it must have a discreet identity.

    Properties are not things. Properties describe things. Structure, mass, location, temperature, etc.; these are all properties. Consciousness is a property.

    Consciousness describes a state of an object. To be “an” object it must have a discreet identity. To say “this consciousness” and “that consciousness” is to necessarily refer to the properties of two different objects (or to one object at two different points in time).

    Therefore, the properties of “consciousness A” and “consciousness B” necessarily refer to “object A” and “object B.” This is true even if both objects have the identical property of consciousness.

    I tried to describe this with semantic notation previously, but I don’t think my attempt was successful. I’ll try again here.

    T (a thing with a discreet identity)
    P (a singular property used to describe a thing, i.e., mass, structure, consciousness, etc.)

    T1(P1) ≠ T2(P2)

    This is true even if (P1 = P2).

    If my consciousness and your consciousness are exactly identical, I and you are still two objects with discreet identities.

    To say that “I am my consciousness” would make no more sense than to say “I am my mass” or “I am my temperature.” Rather, I am an object that is sometimes conscious, depending on my current state.

  53. superatheist says

    Chikoppi (65)

    Actually I am not saying that “I am my consciousness” this is the “personality or conscious theory of self”. The “personality theory of self” has a number of arguments against the “body theory of self” as does the body theory of the self has a number of arguments against the personality or ” I am consciousness theory of the self. You are making one of the arguments for the body theory of the self.

    The “structure and functioning theory of matter” (that I am proposing) defines the self as a very large number of different structures and functionings of matter. It does not have to refer to either a body, soul, or consciousness at all, so many of the problems that these theories create are eliminated completely. The problem is how do you explain and predict the consequences of this theory without using the confusing terms of: my consciousness, the body, me, I, myself same consciousness, or identical consciousness?

    One of the consequences of “structure and functioning theory of matter” is its ability to predict and explain in a scientific way what is happening in nature concerning what “we are”. What “we are” can be described as continuum like things not discrete objects, because what we are is the structure and functioning of matter, there are no clear boundaries between the different structures and functioning of matter because between any two different structures of matter there is always another one. Just like between any two real numbers there can always be found another real number not equal to the first two.

    Another consequence of the “structure and functioning theory of matter” is superimmortality.
    You are a number of different structure and functioning of matter.
    These different structures and functioning can potentially be replicated.
    Therefore you are superimmortal.

  54. Monocle Smile says

    @superatheist
    Nobody fucking cares that you can make up your own words and definitions. Your communication skills suffer horribly because you’re more interesting in appearing correct in your own head than having a discussion by settling on definitions. Good job ignoring my posts.

  55. Chikoppi says

    The “structure and functioning theory of matter” (that I am proposing) defines the self as a very large number of different structures and functionings of matter.

    I understand that is your position.

    Structure is a property. It is a concept that describes a thing. “A structure” or “a large number of different stuctures” are not real things that exist. They are mental models used to describe actual things. What exists are the things that have structure. Each of these things, by virtue of being discreet things, have a discreet identity.

    If I were to say that the “self” is defined by a particular series of temperature variations you would (rightfully) ridicule me. “But,” I might reply, “since two or more objects can experience the identical series of temperature variations that means you, being that series of temperature variations, could be immortal!” Your plea to “a number of different structures and functionings” is exactly analogous to “a particular series of temperature variations,” because each are descriptive of conceptual properties rather than actual things.

    To say that the self is a collection of conceptual properties, rather than the actual discreet thing that posses those properties, is what I object to.

  56. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To superatheist in post 64

    This appears to be very close to the atheist Buddhist belief —- as I understand it to be “there is no self”

    I still don’t know what you mean, because you continue to refuse to define your terms. You keep alluding to something, but over the course of hundreds of posts – and I’ve read them all – you have utterly failed to explain yourself.

    I forgot who brought up “The Ship Of Theseus”, but thank you for doing so.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus
    Consider the ax whose head was replaced 15 times, and shaft was replaced 15 times. Is it the same ax? This is not a proper scientific question. This is not a question about the real world. This is not a question where evidence can come to bear. This is a question about definitions.

    Similarly, under the physipath definition of self, it answers these questions by philosophical fiat, and not by appeal to evidence and facts from reality. Is the ax the same ax after 15 replacements? Well, it’s not the same fundamental particles – all of the fundamental particles have been replaced. That is a clear and simple statement about facts about reality. However, we can show a physipath trace through time, and under that meaning of “same”, it is the same ax. The way you keep asking questions, you make it seem like you believe that there is something more to figuring out if the ax is the same ax or a different ax, such as the existence of some immaterial soul, or something else. You keep asking questions “ok, but is it really the same ax?”. I don’t know what that question means. I don’t know what it might mean to be true, and I don’t know what it might mean to be false, because you haven’t properly defined your terms in the question, specifically “same” and “self”.

    Let me try another way. Consider the synthetic-analytic divide.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic%E2%80%93synthetic_distinction
    The question “is it the same ax?” is made in a context where everything is already in agreement about the factual statements of affairs. We all agree that the ax head was replaced 15 times, and the shaft was replaced 15 times. Thus, this question is not about a synthetic affair, aka it’s not a question about the facts of reality. Instead, it’s a purely analytic question, a question about definitions.

    However, in this situation, you superatheist are making it seem like you are asking a synthetic question, a question where there is still disagreement about the facts about reality, about this “really me” or something. As I’ve been trying to make clear, the only definition of “me” that has been proffered is the physipath definition, and the definition that involves a soul. If there were souls, then the question “is that really me?” is a synthetic question. It’s a question about facts. It’s a question about whether the soul is the same soul, or a different soul, and this question would be, in principle, answerable by appeal to scientific evidence. However, as best as I can tell, we have full agreement as to the scientific facts, and the question “is that really me?” is a analytic question. It’s a question about definitions. It’s a question of “what does it mean to be really me?”. It’s not a question that can be answered by evidence. However, at the same time, you are being quite confusing, because you keep making it seem like this is a question that can be answered by evidence. What the hell are you talking about?

    PS:
    I am convinced, and have been convinced since 200~ posts ago, that you do believe in the existence of a soul, but you’re just compartmentalizing this belief. You seem to think that I believe that there is no such thing as “the self”. Well, I do believe that there is no such thing as a soul, and AFAICT, when you say “self”, you really mean “a soul”.

  57. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal(69)

    You wrote:
    “I do believe that there is no such thing as a soul”

    “when you say “self”, you really mean “a soul”.

    I think this means that you do not believe that a self exists:

    “There is inherent or magical nothing that ties together the person from 5 minutes ago that would be legally recognizes as “the same person” as me of right now.”
    Would you explain this statement?

    What do you mean by soul?

    Soul has numerous different meanings some of them are:

    spirit, psyche, (inner) self, inner being, life force, vital force; individuality, makeup, subconscious embodiment,

    personification, incarnation, epitome, quintessence, essence; model, exemplification, exemplar, image, manifestation.

    person, human being, individual, man, woman, mortal, creature. (from my computer dictionary)

    The soul is used as a concept that ties together changing things. The concept of the structure and functioning of matter ties together matter and the properties that it creates. This is how they are similar. How else do you see them being similar? I do not see the structure and functioning of matter as being the same as any of the above definitions.

    Is the statement that “the soul is supernatural” an analytic or synthetic statement, compared to the statement “the soul is an individual” — according to you?

  58. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Is the statement that “the soul is supernatural” an analytic or synthetic statement, compared to the statement “the soul is an individual” — according to you?

    You’d first have to give a satisfactory definition of the word “supernatural” and “soul”.

    By “soul”, one generally means that the memories, processing, et al, that make up a person do not exist in the brain, and instead it exists inside some non-physical extra-materialism thing, which we call a “soul”, which controls the brain in some way, and which receives sensory input from the body in some way.

    There’s less of a consensus definition of the word “supernatural”. Are “souls” defined to be immaterial, aka non-physical, aka a violation of modern particle physics? Yes. Souls are not made of up quarks, electrons, etc.

    Otherwise, I don’t see much purpose to respond to anything else you’ve said, because I’m tired of going in circles. This is a miserable conversation, and you’re absolutely horrible at explaining what you actually believe, let alone why you believe it. I’m still no closer to getting answers to my questions.

  59. PeterFromLondonUK says

    Sorry about the video 3x rimes, i’m not sure what happened there.

  60. superatheist says

    EnlightenmentLiberal (69) (71) (20.20)

    You brought this up:
    Let me try another way. Consider the synthetic-analytic divide.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic%E2%80%93synthetic_distinction

    “The soul is an individual” is an analytic statement because it is true by definition, that I gave you the clue to by showing you the definition. It is true by definition.

    “The soul is supernatural” is a synthetic statement because if there is such a thing as a soul it may or may not be supernatural. It is not necessarily true, it is dependent on the nature of reality.

    The statement that “you can consciously exist again after death” is is a synthetic statement about reality, that is dependent on the nature of reality not some set of logical principles or definitions. It may or may not be true.

    It seems like when you and other mortalists make the statement “you can not consciously exit again after death” you believe you are making an analytic statement that is true by definition or true by some logical principle.

    When some one states that “this is the only life they will ever have” which is what I often here on the atheist experience (for example) they believe they are making an analytically true statement. It is however just an uninformed synthetic statement.

    You wrote:
    “Again, you can take it as given that everyone here already believes that if you make a perfectly identical clone, and put the two bodies in a room with the same stimulus, then (ignoring possible quantum effects), they will have identical memories, identical behavior, including identical self reports, and they will have / experience identical qualia.” (85)(20.16)

    I think that most people here would be entirely ok with the supposition that if one were to somehow create two separate but observationally identical brains, then we would have two separate but otherwise identical consciousnesses, that would then be free to “evolve” and change in their separate ways, according to the distinct experiences of each brain from that point onwards. (65)(20.20)”

    Does everyone agree to these statements? If so we can greatly simplify any future discussions.

    Chikoppi (81) (20.16) wrote:

    “With respect to the property of consciousness, each object has a subjective experience. “You,” an object, will never subjectively experience the property of consciousness of an object that is not you (i.e., any other object).”

    I think this is a synthetic statement that is maybe true of false. You seem to think that it is an analytic statement that has to be true.

    I say, in a repeat of a quote from EnlightenmentLiberal to superatheist:

    “Can this question be tested?
    I contend “obviously no”. I’m pretty sure that there is no way to test it. I’m also waiting for you to provide a simple and clear way to test it.”

    Can you show that there is such a thing as a “subjectivity of consciousness” that is independent of the consciousness itself? And then that this subjectivity has to be tied to a singular body. What superimmortality or the structure and functioning theory of matter predicts is what you already accept; that two different bodies that produce identical structure and functioning produce identical consciousnesses. Two identical consciousness already have identical subjectivity. That is what your consciousness means; your subjective experience. So if you duplicate the identical structure and functioning in a different body you duplicate your subjective experience also. The structure and functioning of matter ties together subjective experience not a body

    By proposing something that is more than consciousness that just ties it to a body and only that body you are proposing a supernatural soul like property (or thing).

  61. Chikoppi says

    Can you show that there is such a thing as a “subjectivity of consciousness” that is independent of the consciousness itself? And then that this subjectivity has to be tied to a singular body. What superimmortality or the structure and functioning theory of matter predicts is what you already accept; that two different bodies that produce identical structure and functioning produce identical consciousnesses. Two identical consciousness already have identical subjectivity. That is what your consciousness means; your subjective experience. So if you duplicate the identical structure and functioning in a different body you duplicate your subjective experience also. The structure and functioning of matter ties together subjective experience not a body
    By proposing something that is more than consciousness that just ties it to a body and only that body you are proposing a supernatural soul like property (or thing).

    Seriously? “Subjective” means “from a particular point of view” as opposed to “from all points of view.” Two distinct bodies, each independently consciousness, necessarily entails two subjective perspectives.

    You’re just leaping about at this point hoping to find some rhetorical traction. Also, you keep repeating arguments that I’ve previously addressed as being fallacious, which again leads me to believe you are only here to proselytize.

    Others may continue to indulge you, but please leave me out of it.

  62. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    “The soul is supernatural” is a synthetic statement because if there is such a thing as a soul it may or may not be supernatural. It is not necessarily true, it is dependent on the nature of reality.

    Generally no. The word “soul” is generally defined to be a supernatural thing.

    The statement that “you can consciously exist again after death” is is a synthetic statement about reality, that is dependent on the nature of reality not some set of logical principles or definitions. It may or may not be true.

    Yes, but you first have to define the terms sufficiently well for it to be testable and falsifiable. Until then, it’s not even wrong. Thus far, you have not defined your terms sufficiently well for your claim to be meaningful. Currently, it’s grammatically correct, but it doesn’t have meaning (to me).

    It seems like when you and other mortalists make the statement “you can not consciously exit again after death” you believe you are making an analytic statement that is true by definition or true by some logical principle.

    I have personally expressed repeatedly that I am not making any such claim. I have personally expressed repeatedly that this claim is not also “not even wrong”.

    It’s this thing called falsifiability. If the claim “you can exist again after death” is not falsifiable, then it logically follows that the claim “you can not exist again after death” is also unfalsifiable. Falsifiable claims come in pairs. I have taken several others to task for making that exact meaningless claim several times over these threads.

    Can you show that there is such a thing as a “subjectivity of consciousness” that is independent of the consciousness itself?

    I still don’t know what that means. I really have no idea what you’re talking about here. I really have no idea what you mean by “subjectivity of consciousness”, and I especially have no idea what you might mean with that phrase as something that “is independent of consciousness itself”. Not the foggiest idea.

  63. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    The word “soul” is generally defined to be a supernatural thing.

    Correction. The word “soul” is generally defined to be refer to a supernatural thing.

    The word “soul” isn’t supernatural. Souls are supernatural.

  64. says

    @ superatheist

    You seem to have a lot of trouble with understanding science, probability, logic and communication. The latter-most leadss me to think that others are right and that you are a lost cause. You’ve just taken my attempt to present your thought process and responded to it as if I were the one making an argument. What’s more, wading through the wall of text you wrote, despite your claim that my representation was inaccurate, as far as I could tell you largely repeated it (with the same logical errors), only with many many superfluous words. The only specific thing I will respond to is this:

    Speculation is the foundation of the advancement of science, mathematics, technology and creative thinking.

    No, it isn’t. (I’ve nixed creative thinking because it is speculation and doesn’t belong in that list in this context. Nor do I have any idea what “the advancement of creative thinking” might be in this context.) And even if it were, the foundation of something is not that something. Speculation is a part of science, but not all of it. What you are doing is only speculation, not science. While such creative thinking might be interesting, it is not a good reason to believe something to be true. If you ever are able to understand these concepts, then we might have a productive conversation.