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Offline DonQuichotte

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Why Materialism Is False ? :
« on: 22/10/2013 19:28:24 »
Excerpts from   "The Science Delusion " or  "Science Set Free : 10 Paths To New Discovery " By Rupert Sheldrake : Introduction :



Introduction:

THE TEN DOGMAS OF MODERN SCIENCE:


The “scientific worldview” is immensely influential because the sciences have been so successful.
They touch all our lives through technologies and through modern medicine. Our intellectual world
has been transformed by an immense expansion of knowledge, down into the most microscopic
particles of matter and out into the vastness of space, with hundreds of billions of galaxies in an everexpanding
universe.
Yet in the second decade of the twenty-first century, when science and technology seem to be at the
peak of their power, when their influence has spread all over the world and when their triumph seems
indisputable, unexpected problems are disrupting the sciences from within. Most scientists take it for
granted that these problems will eventually be solved by more research along established lines, but
some, including myself, think they are symptoms of a deeper malaise.
In this book, I argue that science is being held back by centuries-old assumptions that have
hardened into dogmas. The sciences would be better off without them: freer, more interesting and
more fun.
The biggest scientific delusion of all is that science already knows the answers. The details still
need working out but, in principle, the fundamental questions are settled.
Contemporary science is based on the claim that all reality is material or physical. There is no
reality but material reality. Consciousness is a by-product of the physical activity of the brain. Matter
is unconscious. Evolution is purposeless. God exists only as an idea in human minds, and hence in
human heads.
These beliefs are powerful, not because most scientists think about them critically but because they
don’t. The facts of science are real enough; so are the techniques that scientists use, and the
technologies based on them. But the belief system that governs conventional scientific thinking is an
act of faith, grounded in a nineteenth-century ideology.
This book is pro-science. I want the sciences to be less dogmatic and more scientific. I believe that
the sciences will be regenerated when they are liberated from the dogmas that constrict them.


The scientific creed:
Here are the ten core beliefs that most scientists take for granted.
1. Everything is essentially mechanical. Dogs, for example, are complex mechanisms, rather
than living organisms with goals of their own. Even people are machines, “lumbering
robots,” in Richard Dawkins’s vivid phrase, with brains that are like genetically
programmed computers.
2. All matter is unconscious. It has no inner life or subjectivity or point of view. Even human
consciousness is an illusion produced by the material activities of brains.
3. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same (with the exception of the Big
Bang, when all the matter and energy of the universe suddenly appeared).
4. The laws of nature are fixed. They are the same today as they were at the beginning, and they
will stay the same forever.
5. Nature is purposeless, and evolution has no goal or direction.
6. All biological inheritance is material, carried in the genetic material, DNA, and in other
material structures.
7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree,
the image of the tree you are seeing is not “out there,” where it seems to be, but inside your
brain.
8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
9. Unexplained phenomena such as telepathy are illusory.
10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.
Together, these beliefs make up the philosophy or ideology of materialism, whose central assumption
is that everything is essentially material or physical, even minds. This belief system became dominant
within science in the late nineteenth century, and is now taken for granted. Many scientists are
unaware that materialism is an assumption: they simply think of it as science, or the scientific view of
reality, or the scientific worldview. They are not actually taught about it, or given a chance to discuss
it. They absorb it by a kind of intellectual osmosis.
In everyday usage, materialism refers to a way of life devoted entirely to material interests, a
preoccupation with wealth, possessions and luxury. These attitudes are no doubt encouraged by the
materialist philosophy, which denies the existence of any spiritual realities or non-material goals, but
in this book I am concerned with materialism’s scientific claims, rather than its effects on lifestyles.
In the spirit of radical skepticism, I turn each of these ten doctrines into a question. Entirely new
vistas open up when a widely accepted assumption is taken as the beginning of an inquiry, rather than
as an unquestionable truth. For example, the assumption that nature is machine-like or mechanical
becomes a question: “Is nature mechanical?” The assumption that matter is unconscious becomes “Is
matter unconscious?” And so on.
In the Prologue I look at the interactions of science, religion and power, and then in Chapters 1 to
10, I examine each of the ten dogmas. At the end of each chapter, I discuss what difference this topic
makes and how it affects the way we live our lives. I also pose several further questions, so that any
readers who want to discuss these subjects with friends or colleagues will have some useful starting
points. Each chapter is followed by a summary.

The credibility crunch for the “scientific worldview”:
For more than two hundred years, materialists have promised that science will eventually explain
everything in terms of physics and chemistry. Science will prove that living organisms are complex
machines, minds are nothing but brain activity and nature is purposeless. Believers are sustained by
the faith that scientific discoveries will justify their beliefs. The philosopher of science Karl Popper
called this stance “promissory materialism” because it depends on issuing promissory notes for
discoveries not yet made.1 Despite all the achievements of science and technology, materialism is now
facing a credibility crunch that was unimaginable in the twentieth century.
In 1963, when I was studying biochemistry at Cambridge University, I was invited to a series of
private meetings with Francis Crick and Sydney Brenner in Brenner’s rooms in King’s College, along
with a few of my classmates. Crick and Brenner had recently helped to “crack” the genetic code. Both
were ardent materialists and Crick was also a militant atheist. They explained there were two major
unsolved problems in biology: development and consciousness. They had not been solved because the
people who worked on them were not molecular biologists—or very bright. Crick and Brenner were
going to find the answers within ten years, or maybe twenty. Brenner would take developmental
biology, and Crick consciousness. They invited us to join them.
Both tried their best. Brenner was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2002 for his work on the development
of a tiny worm, Caenorhabdytis elegans. Crick corrected the manuscript of his final paper on the brain
the day before he died in 2004. At his funeral, his son Michael said that what made him tick was not
the desire to be famous, wealthy or popular, but “to knock the final nail into the coffin of vitalism.”
(Vitalism is the theory that living organisms are truly alive, and not explicable in terms of physics and
chemistry alone.)
Crick and Brenner failed. The problems of development and consciousness remain unsolved. Many
details have been discovered, dozens of genomes have been sequenced, and brain scans are ever more
precise. But there is still no proof that life and minds can be explained by physics and chemistry alone
(see Chapters 1, 4 and 8).
The fundamental proposition of materialism is that matter is the only reality. Therefore
consciousness is nothing but brain activity. It is either like a shadow, an “epiphenomenon,” that does
nothing, or it is just another way of talking about brain activity. However, among contemporary
researchers in neuroscience and consciousness studies there is no consensus about the nature of minds.
Leading journals such as Behavioural and Brain Sciences and the Journal of Consciousness Studies
publish many articles that reveal deep problems with the materialist doctrine. The philosopher David
Chalmers has called the very existence of subjective experience the “hard problem.” It is hard because
it defies explanation in terms of mechanisms. Even if we understand how eyes and brains respond to
red light, the experience of redness is not accounted for.
In biology and psychology the credibility rating of materialism is falling. Can physics ride to the
rescue? Some materialists prefer to call themselves physicalists, to emphasize that their hopes depend
on modern physics, not nineteenth-century theories of matter. But physicalism’s own credibility rating
has been reduced by physics itself, for four reasons.
First, some physicists insist that quantum mechanics cannot be formulated without taking into
account the minds of observers. They argue that minds cannot be reduced to physics because physics
presupposes the minds of physicists.2
Second, the most ambitious unified theories of physical reality, string and M-theories, with ten and
eleven dimensions respectively, take science into completely new territory. Strangely, as Stephen
Hawking tells us in his book The Grand Design (2010), “No one seems to know what the ‘M’ stands
for, but it may be ‘master’, ‘miracle’ or ‘mystery.’ ” According to what Hawking calls “modeldependent
realism,” different theories may have to be applied in different situations. “Each theory
may have its own version of reality, but according to model-dependent realism, that is acceptable so
long as the theories agree in their predictions whenever they overlap, that is, whenever they can both
be applied.”3
String theories and M-theories are currently untestable so “model-dependent realism” can only be
judged by reference to other models, rather than by experiment. It also applies to countless other
universes, none of which has ever been observed. As Hawking points out,
M-theory has solutions that allow for different universes with different apparent laws, depending
on how the internal space is curled. M-theory has solutions that allow for many different internal
spaces, perhaps as many as 10500, which means it allows for 10500 different universes, each with
its own laws … The original hope of physics to produce a single theory explaining the apparent
laws of our universe as the unique possible consequence of a few simple assumptions may have
to be abandoned.4
Some physicists are deeply skeptical about this entire approach, as the theoretical physicist Lee
Smolin shows in his book The Trouble With Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science
and What Comes Next (2008).5 String theories, M-theories and “model-dependent realism” are a shaky
foundation for materialism or physicalism or any other belief system, as discussed in Chapter 1.
Third, since the beginning of the twenty-first century, it has become apparent that the known kinds
of matter and energy make up only about 4 percent of the universe. The rest consists of “dark matter”
and “dark energy.” The nature of 96 percent of physical reality is literally obscure (see Chapter 2).
Fourth, the Cosmological Anthropic Principle asserts that if the laws and constants of nature had
been slightly different at the moment of the Big Bang, biological life could never have emerged, and
hence we would not be here to think about it (see Chapter 3). So did a divine mind fine-tune the laws
and constants in the beginning? To avoid a creator God emerging in a new guise, most leading
cosmologists prefer to believe that our universe is one of a vast, and perhaps infinite, number of
parallel universes, all with different laws and constants, as M-theory also suggests. We just happen to
exist in the one that has the right conditions for us.6
This multiverse theory is the ultimate violation of Occam’s Razor, the philosophical principle that
“entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity,” or in other words, that we should make as few
assumptions as possible. It also has the major disadvantage of being untestable.7 And it does not even
succeed in getting rid of God. An infinite God could be the God of an infinite number of universes.8
Materialism provided a seemingly simple, straightforward worldview in the late nineteenth century,
but twenty-first-century science has left it behind. Its promises have not been fulfilled, and its
promissory notes have been devalued by hyperinflation.
I am convinced that the sciences are being held back by assumptions that have hardened into
dogmas, maintained by powerful taboos. These beliefs protect the citadel of established science, but
act as barriers against open-minded thinking.


« Last Edit: 09/01/2014 20:59:29 by DonQuichotte »


 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Dear folks :
Just watch and listen to the following on the subject :


SCIENCE SET FREE - Rupert Sheldrake





Rupert Sheldrake - The Science Delusion | London Real


 

Offline DonQuichotte

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"Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False"  By Thomas Nagel :

http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Cosmos-Materialist-Neo-Darwinian-Conception/dp/0199919755




"Science Set Free: 10 Paths to New Discovery" By Rupert Sheldrake :



http://www.amazon.com/Science-Set-Free-Paths-Discovery/dp/0770436722





 

Offline alancalverd

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What is Science and What is Materialism in Science and Elsewhere ?

Hi, dear folks :

Since the majority of scientists and many other  people , do confuse science with materialism ,

Please cite peer-reviewed evidence of your claim.
 

Offline AndroidNeox

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Materialism, I think, presumes everything that exists is observable and the events are controlled by absolute physical laws, which requires causality. Science also depends upon the presumption of causality. Science and Materialism are mutually-consistent, but definitely not the same thing.
 

Offline Skyli

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Beautifully put AndroidNeox!

Now ain't that a thing.

From your description one could say that Science is a tool we use to test Materialism or, more forcefully (fancifully?), that Science is out to disprove 'Materialism'. Indeed, I would expect that, should something not subject to causality ever be discovered, the discovery will be made by Science.

An interesting and reasonable way of looking at the question. The answer would then be that "Materialism" in Science is the concept under test.

 

Offline alancalverd

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Quote

Materialism, I think, presumes everything that exists is observable

Which cuts out dark matter and dark energy. These are however scientific concepts, therefore science is not inherently materialistic.

Science is the business of observe, hypothesis, test. Nothing more nor less. There is no room for -isms or any other form of prejudice in scientific endeavour.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Why Materialism is False ? :


Source : http://forums.intpcentral.com/showthread.php?15753-Why-Materialism-is-False

Prior Note :

Materialism is just a false conception of nature : a belief assumption = unscientific , per definition .

Science has been dominated and hijacked by materialism , materialism as a false and unscientific world view or philosophy , since the 19th century at least .

Materialism goes beyond science and its unparalleled effective scientific method  that's unlike any other for that matter  , by assuming that the universe or reality nature are exclusively material .

The following article does not necessarily reflect my own opinions or views on the subject :

The critique of materialism goes way beyond what the following article tries to approach ,summarize or tackle  :
-I-I do not agree with the author's allegations that materialism has succeeded in "solving " the challenge or hard problem of life , design, thought , morality ...
0_Materialism is just a dogmatic belief system or rather a false secular religion ideology  in science , a misconsception of nature in science , that has absolutely nothing to do with science thus , and that just tries to "validate " itself through science , in vain of course , logically and per-definition .
I_Those so-called neurocomputation mechanisms cannot account for such  non-physical non-biological  processes such as thought either .
II-Darwin's theory of evolution is only and exclusively biological physical , so, it tackles only the physical biological side of evolution, but materialists , per definition, just try to extend it to non-physical non-biological processes ,for obvious materialist ideological "reasons " that have ,obviously , nothing to do with science  .
III- That life can be approached via physics and chemistry does not mean that life is just that .
IV_ Materialism cannot , per definition, succeed in "refuting " the existence of God, design ................behind all those laws of physics ............

V-Neither the materialist version or rather the materialist misinterpretation of Darwin's exclusively biological physical theory of evolution , nor Darwin's exclusively biological physical theory of evolution can account for human morality, cognition,  life or of consciousness "fully" ........let alone their  evolution .
VI-Materialism can, per definition , not account for consciousness, life ,feelings , emotions,  human cognition , human conscience , human morality , ...."fully" , let alone their origins evolution or emergence .
_VII-The brain does not cause consciousness : that alleged causality that's ,obviously , just a materialist misinterpretation of that   mutual actual factual correlation or interaction between the brain and consciousness thus  , was never proven to be true, ever , that's just a materialist belief assumption : causation is no explanation either .
VIII-There is a lot more to say on the subject , so, i will just leave it at that ,for the time being at least .


Quote :

" Why Materialism is False:

    In short, I think materialism is false. Below is why, with a detour through the reasons why Materialism isn't false.

    I don't mind if you read this or not, just thought I'd share for anyone remotely interested. No, it's not particularly well written or well structured, and there is so much more that could be said on this topic, but ... meh.

    _______________________________________________________________

    Materalism, I define as follows:
    'The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.' - Answers.com
    First, there is an important distinction to be made. Materialism and Science are not the same thing. Science is the study of the natural world, so Science has no jurisdiction over any theory regarding that which cannot be empirically tested.

    For example, suppose a Theist were to conjecture that God is the law enforcer of the universe, ensuring that at every moment, at every place, all physical occurrences obeyed the laws that God has decreed. This conjecture is impossible to test scientifically, since all possible experimental observations are consistent with its predictions. However, the unscientific character of our Theist's conjecture does not mean that it is false; the answer to the question is simply outside of the jurisdiction of the Scientific method.

    The philosophy of Materialism goes beyond the Scientific Method, postulating that only the material exists. This would place the Materialist in disagreement with our Theist. If it is true that only the material exists, then the Theist's law enforcer God does not exist, since that God would qualify as immaterial.

    The above constitutes the important distinction between Materialism and Science, whilst also explaining why Materialists are always Scientists. However the philosophy of Materialism should not be conflated with that of Science, as it is possible to both be a Scientist and not be a Materialist.

    _______________________________________________________________


    Materialism has always been an unpopular philosophy, with critics branding it as cold, uncaring and fundamentally amoral. The philosophy has had its most bitter rivals in that of Theism, as Materialism denies the truth of religious scripture, denying the existence of God, the afterlife and the immortal soul. Despite this, Materialism has stumbled on, with proponents offering Materialistic solutions to many of the long standing problems in philosophy. The problems listed below have stood as criticisms to the Materialistic philosophy now and in the past. The list is not comprehensive, but does reflect what I believe to have been the key problems that Materialism has overcome.

    1) The problem of life
    2) The problem of design
    3) The problem of thought
    4) The problem of morality
    Here I will sketch a brief overview of what each problem is and how I believe the Materialist can solve it.

    The first and easiest is the problem of life. The problem arises from the unique properties and capabilities of living organisms; it had seemed incomprehensible that the mechanical world of physics could explain the biological. Something else was needed, so it was postulated that a vital force animated living matter, imbuing it with lifelike qualities. The doctrine held that life was inexplicable in terms of physicochemical interactions. If the Materialist could not explain life, then Materialism must be false.

    The Materialist did not get his answer to this problem in one sweeping theory, but rather a cumulation of experimental findings, from William Harvey's discovery that the circularitory system was a cleverly engineered mechanism to pump blood around the body, to Fracis Crick and James Watson's discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. The march of scientific progress has unveiled the fine structure of cellular machinery, all working impeccably from physicochemical laws without the need for a vital animating force.

    Here the Materialist can explain how life works without appealing to any immaterial vital essence, but there still remains another problem to be solved. This is the problem of design. How is it that this incredible arrangement of organised matter came into being? The odds that such organisation would occur by chance are astronomically low, but life is bustling all around us in a multitude of forms. If the Materialist cannot explain this design, then Materialism must be false.

    In 1859, in a joint paper by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace that explanation was provided. The Materialist now had The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection i.e. The gradual accumulation of adaptive organisation by selective advantage. This elegant theory has provided the Materialist with an answer to the problem of design, which has in time been corroborated by a vast amount of evidence, from practically every field of scientific study.

    The problem of design had been solved, but an interesting disagreement between Alfred Russell Wallace and Charles Darwin persisted. The problem of thought presented itself. To Wallace, the human capacity for reasoned thought was beyond the reach of evolution, a feat which could simply not have been achieved by anything other than supernatural intervention, or in other words: God given. How could it be that a physical system could possibly think? If Materialism cannot explain how it is that we think, then Materialism must be false.

    The answer to the problem today is all around us, in front of anyone reading this at this very moment, i.e. computation. Alan Turing's Turing machine and the advent of modern electronics are a vivid illustration that complex computational architecture, obeying only the laws of physics can perform intelligent operations. The Materialist can now look to neurobiology, where cognition is explained as the consequent of neurocomputations occurring in parallel throughout the central nervous system. The Materialist now has his answer to Wallace's conjecture that the capacity for reason is unevolvable and must be God given.

    So the Materialist has provided powerful arguments to solve the problem of life, the problem of design and the problem thought. Unlike these three problems, the final problem on my list cannot refute Materialism. If Materialism is indeed amoral, it would be a nonsequitor to conclude from Materialism's amorality that it is false. For this reason, the problem of morality is a special case, but nonetheless very powerful. Briefly, the argument claims that if we are nothing but an unintentional consequence of natural selection, nothing but elaborate machines and built by selfish genes, then there is no reason to work for a higher purpose. For what reason should we treat our fellow man with compassion? What becomes of right and wrong with no God?

    The answer to this problem is the combined product of evolutionary biology, neurobiology and philosophy. The combined solutions to the previous three problems set the stage for solving the problem of morality. First, evolutionary biology, far from undermining the basis of morality, can explain why we have a moral sense in the first place. Second, neurobiology has provided scientists with evidence of how the human brain computes moral decisions. Finally, philosophers have raised objections to the accusation that Materialism is inherently amoral, refuting the accusations with powerful solutions and counterarguments.

    Note: I am sure many reading this may object to the solutions I have presented to the 'four problems,' such objections are welcome and I encourage further criticism.

    ________________________________________________________________

    I have taken this detour through the successes of Materialism to drive home that I have no political agenda against the philosophy, religiously motivated or otherwise. I now wish to draw attention to my fifth problem for Materialism:

    5) The problem of consciousness
    A single element of conscious experience is called a quale, a group of quale are known as qualia. A quale might be the subjective experience of red, cold or pain. All quale are symbolic representations of frequencies and angles. The problem for Materialism is explaining qualia, the subjective experience of life, the very subjective experience without which we cannot imagine life being worth living at all. How can a physical system such as the brain be responsible for consciousness?. This is no small problem, for if Materialism cannot explain consciousness, then Materialism is false.

    The problem of consciousness has puzzled philosophers for centuries. To clarify the problem, imagine opening up my brain whilst displaying a large red circle to my eyes. After some probing, you discover a cluster of neurons whose combined activity is responsible for my conscious experience of red. However, all you have is my word to go on, there is nothing special about that particular cluster of neurons, no telltale sign that these are responsible for my conscious experience. To the outside observer, the entire neurocomputational system would work exactly the same whether or not I was actually consciously experiencing the red circle. To make make matters more puzzling, even if I am consciously experiencing life, how do you know that what you call red is what I call red? So long as the frequencies and angles which these qualia represent maintain a constant relation to each other, then for all you know my conscious experience of red might be radically different to yours.

    No matter where you look in my brain, even if you are looking at that particular cluster of neurons responsible for my conscious experience of red, you cannot sensibly say that you are looking at the quale redness. The redness I see is qualitively independent of the neural substrate that is responsible for that quale. To put this another way, I would argue that qualia are ontologically irreducible to the neural substrate, that is, qualia have independent qualities which cannot be explained at the physical level. However, I also would argue that consciousness is entirely caused by the neural substrate, that consciousness has no informational content or cognitive ability above that which occurs on the neurocomputational level i.e. consciousness is causally reducible to the neural substrate.

    To clarify, we can play a thought experiment involving two billiard balls. Billiard ball 1 and billiard ball 2. First take these two examples:

    1) Imagine ball 1 moving on a trajectory toward ball 2. As ball 1 strikes ball 2, both have a change of velocity.
    2) Imagine ball 1 moving on a trajectory toward ball 2. This time, imagine that ball 2 is invisible. As ball 1 strikes ball 2, both have a change of velocity.
    Notice that in example number 2 we infer the existence of ball 2 because of the change in velocity of ball 1. We cannot directly experience ball 2, so our knowledge of ball 2 is limited by it's relationship to ball 1. Now, take a third example:

    3) Imagine ball 1 moving on a trajectory toward ball 2. This time, imagine that ball 2 is invisible and has a one way causal relationship to ball 1. As ball 1 strikes ball 2, only ball 2 changes its velocity and ball 1 carries on at a constant speed, in a straight line.
    In this thought experiment, ball 2 exists and it's change in velocity is caused by ball 1, but to any observer unable to register ball 2, it remains completely invisible and undetectable. My conjecture is that qualia are like ball 2, which is why the conscious experience of other human beings is impossible to detect, the causal interaction is one way.

    The problem for the Materialist is that consciousness itself is immaterial, the frequencies and angles that make up subjective experience may be caused by, but are not part of the Material world. Thus, I conclude that Materialism is false.

    ________________________________________________________________

    A possible criticism of my theory is that consciousness is an emergent consequence of brain activity. This is a tempting view to take, analogous to the quality of wetness. A body of water is wet, even though no particular element of that body of water is wet. To clarify, a single molecule of H2O cannot be wet, because the quality of wetness is dependent upon the interactions of the constituent parts, without belong to any of those particular constituent parts. Wetness is an emergent property. A critic might conjecture that consciousness is also an emergent property of brain activity.

    I do not think that consciousness is an emergent product of brain activity. The difference between wetness and consciousness is that the quality of wetness follows from the physical laws governing the behavior of H2O, that is, given only the laws of physics I could predict that particular chemical substances would have the emergent property of wetness. The same cannot be said of consciousness. Given only the laws of physics, I could not predict the emergence of consciousness, it simply does not follow that from any complex neurocomputational system that consciousness should be." End Quote.

« Last Edit: 25/10/2013 19:50:46 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Beautifully put AndroidNeox!

Now ain't that a thing.

From your description one could say that Science is a tool we use to test Materialism or, more forcefully (fancifully?), that Science is out to disprove 'Materialism'. Indeed, I would expect that, should something not subject to causality ever be discovered, the discovery will be made by Science.

An interesting and reasonable way of looking at the question. The answer would then be that "Materialism" in Science is the concept under test.


Materialism, I think, presumes everything that exists is observable and the events are controlled by absolute physical laws, which requires causality. Science also depends upon the presumption of causality. Science and Materialism are mutually-consistent, but definitely not the same thing.


Quote

Materialism, I think, presumes everything that exists is observable

Which cuts out dark matter and dark energy. These are however scientific concepts, therefore science is not inherently materialistic.

Science is the business of observe, hypothesis, test. Nothing more nor less. There is no room for -isms or any other form of prejudice in scientific endeavour.


Wrong :  see right here above .
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #9 on: 25/10/2013 20:06:51 »
Quote
...if Materialism cannot explain consciousness, then Materialism is false.

Or consciousness is false.

Quote
1) The problem of life

Materialism can handle that.

Quote
2) The problem of design

And that.

Quote
3) The problem of thought

And that.

Quote
4) The problem of morality

And it can handle that too, provided that it allows for the possibility of consciousness existing despite appearing to be an impossibility. The only real problem is consciousness if it is a real phenomenon.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #10 on: 25/10/2013 20:56:23 »
Quote
...if Materialism cannot explain consciousness, then Materialism is false.

Or consciousness is false.

Quote
1) The problem of life

Materialism can handle that.

Quote
2) The problem of design

And that.

Quote
3) The problem of thought

And that.

Quote
4) The problem of morality

And it can handle that too, provided that it allows for the possibility of consciousness existing despite appearing to be an impossibility. The only real problem is consciousness if it is a real phenomenon.
[/quote]

Human consciousness  is  not false , is   not  an illusion we take for real, otherwise all our knowledge , including the scientific one , including that regarding evolution itself ...are just illusions ...simply because there can be no knowledge in the broader sense , no science ...without human consciousness .



No, you did ,obviously , not read my own comments on the subject .
This is surprising and inconsistent ,coming from you, Cooper :  disappointingly suprisingly paradoxically enough :
Materialism can , obviously , not account for such processes as such , regarding their natures at least , regarding what they might be , such as  life , feelings , emotions, memory , human love , consciousness in general, human reason, human conscience , human ethics  ....to mention  just that :

How can they all rise from any information system  for that matter , as you put it , or from their alleged exclusively biological physical material ultimate core = just from physics and chemistry then ?

How can any information or data system for that matter , to borrow your own words on the subject , account for such processes ?

And it all 'comes down " or rather goes up haha to the  key  issues of human consciousness  and human reason  without which there would be no science even , no knowledge in general ,no science ,  no knowledge regarding evolution itself  :

How can human consciousness or intellect as a means to make any sense of reality rise from the evolved complexity of the human physical brain , the latter as just a tool to "create  or construct a mental  image " of  reality via  our senses = how can the human consciousness and human intellect for that matter be the products of the so-called blind and purposeless random accidental evolution then ? =  how can we then not question the very validity and truth of our own knowledge in general as a result ? = question our scientific knowledge in general , including the validity and truth of our own scientific knowledge regarding evolution istelf as a result then ? if human consciousness and intellect are the products of that so-called random blind accidental purposeless ...evolution = a paradox that makes no sense whatsoever .

Consciousness, human reason, feelings , emotions, memory ,the nature of  life as a whole...... cannot be accounted for by that reductionist false materialist conception of nature = cannot be accounted for neither via physics and chemistry , nor via those magical materialist computational emergence tricks performances ...don't you think ?

How can any information system account for human consciousness and human reason  intellect  then ? to mention just those , if reality is exclusively material , as materialism wanna make people believe reality is  ...


« Last Edit: 25/10/2013 21:01:53 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #11 on: 25/10/2013 23:59:04 »
Human consciousness  is  not false , is   not  an illusion we take for real, otherwise all our knowledge , including the scientific one , including that regarding evolution itself ...are just illusions ...simply because there can be no knowledge in the broader sense , no science ...without human consciousness .

That's just an assertion based on your belief that consciousness exists, but the sentences you produce which claim it is a real phenomenon have been crafted by an information system that should not be able to judge the case, unless it has something extra going on it which takes it to some level beyond Turing complete.

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No, you did ,obviously , not read my own comments on the subject .

It's highly likely I haven't read all your comments on the subject, but I did give you an appropriate response to that one and I don't know what you think is wrong with it.

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This is surprising and inconsistent ,coming from you, Cooper :  disappointingly suprisingly paradoxically enough :

Where is it inconsistent?

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Materialism can , obviously , not account for such processes as such , regarding their natures at least , regarding what they might be , such as  life , feelings , emotions, memory , human love , consciousness in general, human reason, human conscience , human ethics  ....to mention  just that :

There's no point in repeating that assertion everywhere. It's wrong. The parts of it relating to consciousness are correct, but the rest are wrong.

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How can they all rise from any information system  for that matter , as you put it , or from their alleged exclusively biological physical material ultimate core = just from physics and chemistry then ?

The parts relating to consciousness maybe can't. If they can though, they'll depend on something that goes beyond our current scientific knowledge, because a computer that is merely Turing complete is incapable of doing consciousness. It can reason though, and it can also compute morality if it starts with the assumption that suffering is real and needs to be managed.

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How can any information or data system for that matter , to borrow your own words on the subject , account for such processes ?

Which ones? If you lump them all together you make it harder to answer. How can a calculator do mathematics? It does it by applying rules. How will an AGI system do reasoning? It will do it by applying rules. How will an AGI system do consciousness? It won't - not unless we find a new level of processing which is beyond the capability of our current computers.

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And it all 'comes down " or rather goes up haha to the  key  issues of human consciousness  and human reason  without which there would be no science even , no knowledge in general ,no science ,  no knowledge regarding evolution itself  :

Half right, half wrong. Same mistake repeated every time. Human reason is not a mystery. Building models which represent the outer world in the form of data is not a mystery. Manipulating that data in order to make intelligent conclusions about things by generating new data from older data is not a mystery - it's just complex and it takes a long time to design and build the software to do the job. We are getting close to seeing it all work - we're just not quite there yet.

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How can human consciousness or intellect as a means to make any sense of reality rise from the evolved complexity of the human physical brain , the latter as just a tool to "create  or construct a mental  image " of  reality via  our senses = how can the human consciousness and human intellect for that matter be the products of the so-called blind and purposeless random accidental evolution then ?

Stop mixing up the two things. Intellect is completely different from consciousness. Evolution is blind in the sense that there is no designer thinking about and selecting the path it takes, but what works best by chance is selected for by survival of the fittest and becomes more common, outcompeting the inverior versions that came before it. The process of evolution works and is now used in designing many things in industry. Change the model slightly in random ways, test it in a simulator, abandon the versions that work less well, keep working with the ones that work better.

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=  how can we then not question the very validity and truth of our own knowledge in general as a result ? = question our scientific knowledge in general , including the validity and truth of our own scientific knowledge regarding evolution istelf as a result then ? if human consciousness and intellect are the products of that so-called random blind accidental purposeless ...evolution = a paradox that makes no sense whatsoever .[/b]

There's no paradox there. Intelligence has evolved and reached the stage where we have one species here with a universal problem-solving machine in its head which can question anything. We also have all the steps between that and the simplest thinking organisms which can do very little, though there are a few interesting surprises needing to be studied in more detail, such as how a single-celled amoeba can build itself a house, though it does contain a DNA computer.

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Consciousness, human reason, feelings , emotions, memory ,the nature of  life as a whole...... cannot be accounted for by that reductionist false materialist conception of nature = cannot be accounted for neither via physics and chemistry , nor via those magical materialist computational emergence tricks performances ...don't you think ?

Repeating it endlessly will not make it all true. Emergence certainly isn't an answer to the consciousness problem though.

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How can any information system account for human consciousness and human reason  intellect  then ? to mention just those , if reality is exclusively material , as materialism wanna make people believe reality is  ... [/b]

It can't account for the first of those, yet (and maybe it never will because it looks like an impossible problem to solve), but there is no problem with human reason/intellect, just as there is no problem with machines doing maths. You can (or at least used to be able to get) puzzle books called "Logic Problems" where you would have to work out something from a list of pieces of information which don't directly provide you with the answer. You work out the answer by applying reason to rule out possibilities, putting crosses and ticks into a grid until the whole thing is resolved. The process is entirely mechanical and a machine could handle this task with ease, just so long as it can handle the linguistics and semantics - that's been the hard part of the process that's been holding back artificial intelligence for about seventy years, just handling the tangled way that words and meanings hang together with enormous scope for ambiguities to lead to errors in the calculations. We are about to relegate that problem to history though, because machines which can handle these all of these problems are just around the corner. What you should do is get hold of a logic problem of that kind and have a go at solving it, and then work out how you solved it and what rules you applied to do so. It's more difficult than rocket science to program a machine to do this, but it's far from being impossible.
« Last Edit: 26/10/2013 00:03:17 by David Cooper »
 

Offline AndroidNeox

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Materialism, I think, presumes everything that exists is observable

Which cuts out dark matter and dark energy. These are however scientific concepts, therefore science is not inherently materialistic.

Science is the business of observe, hypothesis, test. Nothing more nor less. There is no room for -isms or any other form of prejudice in scientific endeavour.

This in no way cuts out dark matter or dark energy. Materialism presumes the observations that lead us to speculate on the existence and nature of them are entirely due to physical processes.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #13 on: 26/10/2013 18:15:05 »
Human consciousness  is  not false , is   not  an illusion we take for real, otherwise all our knowledge , including the scientific one , including that regarding evolution itself ...are just illusions ...simply because there can be no knowledge in the broader sense , no science ...without human consciousness .

That's just an assertion based on your belief that consciousness exists, but the sentences you produce which claim it is a real phenomenon have been crafted by an information system that should not be able to judge the case, unless it has something extra going on it which takes it to some level beyond Turing complete.

Come on , Cooper : do not be silly : this is absurd :
You know very well , as much as i do that consciousness does exit , as you and i do : you cannot just try to avoid the hard problem of consciousness , by denying its undeniable and obvious existence , or by resorting to that "materialist promissory messianism " , in the sense that you will be able some day to explain consciousness via just physics and chemistry = cannot be done ,obviously .
Consciousness that's a non-physical and non-biological process , that's 1 of the reasons why neither materialism nor science can account for such non-material processes such as consciousness, obviously .


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No, you did ,obviously , not read my own comments on the subject .

It's highly likely I haven't read all your comments on the subject, but I did give you an appropriate response to that one and I don't know what you think is wrong with it.

You assumed that materialism has already solved the issue of the nature of life , the nature of human cognition ....as the guy who wrote that above mentioned article stated : i commented on the latter by saying why i did not agree with that guy's assumptions .

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This is surprising and inconsistent ,coming from you, Cooper :  disappointingly suprisingly paradoxically enough :

Where is it inconsistent?

You're inconsistent in  the way or in the sense that you said that the issues of the nature and function of the human intellect were solved by materialism, while you ,repeatedly , expressed your legetimate and true rejection of all those materialist magical "emergence " tricks ,regarding the nature and origin of consciousness = you should , logically , also reject that materialist magical "computational " trick ,regarding the nature and function of human intellect , if you wanna remain consistent with yourself at least= living organisms are no machines  .
Human reason or intellect that tries to apprehend or "capture " reality ,beyond its external survival appearances , beyond the survival necessity = that human intellect in that sense that cannot be a result of any computer-like , machine -like computation , despite the fact that there are  indeed primitive forms of intellect in all species for that matter, as a means to just survival ,as a means to "read " and act upon the external appearances of the environment or reality  .

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Materialism can , obviously , not account for such processes as such , regarding their natures at least , regarding what they might be , such as  life , feelings , emotions, memory , human love , consciousness in general, human reason, human conscience , human ethics  ....to mention  just that :

There's no point in repeating that assertion everywhere. It's wrong. The parts of it relating to consciousness are correct, but the rest are wrong.

I do not buy that , that's why i keep on repeating that .
Deep down, you do agree on that , you just avoid admitting just that , via being inconsistent with yourself , as i explained above .
Neither the empirical physical science , nor materialism can account for such processes such as the nature of life (What is life exactly ? ) , consciousness, human reason, feelings emotions ....= cannot be accounted for at the level of their ultimate core , just via physics and chemistry ....= those materialist (unscientific , per definition, simply because materialism in science is just a dogmatic belief system ) , those materialist magical "emergence and computational " tricks ,regarding the nature and origin of respectively consciousness, and human reason ,are just that = magical , also simply because living organisms are no machines either .

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How can they all rise from any information system  for that matter , as you put it , or from their alleged exclusively biological physical material ultimate core = just from physics and chemistry then ?

The parts relating to consciousness maybe can't. If they can though, they'll depend on something that goes beyond our current scientific knowledge, because a computer that is merely Turing complete is incapable of doing consciousness. It can reason though, and it can also compute morality if it starts with the assumption that suffering is real and needs to be managed.

What you still do not wanna see or realise is that neither the physical empirical science ,nor materialism can account for such processes such as consciousness, human reason, pain , feelings emotions ....just via physics and chemistry .

Living organisms are , once again, no machine -like , computer -like entities .
Human reason, for example , goes way beyond the external appearances of reality : can any computer for that matter do just that , or reason its way to just that , by trying to reason its way all the way to the hidden mysteries of reality ...beyond reality's external appearances ...

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How can any information or data system for that matter , to borrow your own words on the subject , account for such processes ?

Which ones? If you lump them all together you make it harder to answer. How can a calculator do mathematics? It does it by applying rules. How will an AGI system do reasoning? It will do it by applying rules. How will an AGI system do consciousness? It won't - not unless we find a new level of processing which is beyond the capability of our current computers.

Human reason is way much more than just mechanical calculations , mechanical reasoning ...human reason tries to decipher the hidden mysteries of nature , beyond its external appearances ....

Human reason, the nature of life , the nature of emotions feelings ....cannot be accounted for just via physics and chemistry : how can't you see just that .

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And it all 'comes down " or rather goes up haha to the  key  issues of human consciousness  and human reason  without which there would be no science even , no knowledge in general ,no science ,  no knowledge regarding evolution itself  :

Half right, half wrong. Same mistake repeated every time. Human reason is not a mystery. Building models which represent the outer world in the form of data is not a mystery. Manipulating that data in order to make intelligent conclusions about things by generating new data from older data is not a mystery - it's just complex and it takes a long time to design and build the software to do the job. We are getting close to seeing it all work - we're just not quite there yet
.

Human reason is obviously much more than just that , come on, it reflects on itself , on reality , is creative , plastic , flexible , imaginative ....= a machine cannot do all that  .

Human reason is a conscious process mainly also , come on .

I  see consciousness or the soul or Mind with a big T , as a process containing reason , emotions ,feelings , intuition ...the mind with a small t is just a part of the bigger human Mind with a big T .

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How can human consciousness or intellect as a means to make any sense of reality rise from the evolved complexity of the human physical brain , the latter as just a tool to "create  or construct a mental  image " of  reality via  our senses = how can the human consciousness and human intellect for that matter be the products of the so-called blind and purposeless random accidental evolution then ?

Stop mixing up the two things. Intellect is completely different from consciousness. Evolution is blind in the sense that there is no designer thinking about and selecting the path it takes, but what works best by chance is selected for by survival of the fittest and becomes more common, outcompeting the inverior versions that came before it. The process of evolution works and is now used in designing many things in industry. Change the model slightly in random ways, test it in a simulator, abandon the versions that work less well, keep working with the ones that work better.

Human reason is a conscious process mainly , not a mechanical one ,dude .

You did not understand what i was saying : we seem to be speaking different languages :
All i am saying : even science cannot be without consciousness and intellect ,so, if human consciousness and intellect  were the products of that 'blind " random accidental purposeless ...evolution ,human consciousness and intellect as just pragmatic survival strategies then , then, it's pretty logical to question the very validity and truth of all our knowledge , including the scientific one , including that relating to evolution itself , all our knowledge that gets achieved via our consciousness intellect ...through science ............

Our human knowledge in the broader sense that's not just a matter of pragmatic survival strategies ....our human knowledge that goes way beyond just that .

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=  how can we then not question the very validity and truth of our own knowledge in general as a result ? = question our scientific knowledge in general , including the validity and truth of our own scientific knowledge regarding evolution istelf as a result then ? if human consciousness and intellect are the products of that so-called random blind accidental purposeless ...evolution = a paradox that makes no sense whatsoever .[/b]

There's no paradox there. Intelligence has evolved and reached the stage where we have one species here with a universal problem-solving machine in its head which can question anything. We also have all the steps between that and the simplest thinking organisms which can do very little, though there are a few interesting surprises needing to be studied in more detail, such as how a single-celled amoeba can build itself a house, though it does contain a DNA computer
.

DNA 's role and function are way too exaggerated : DNA is  not in charge of everything , DNA just "codes " the  making of proteins ....

Amino-acids are not the so-called building blocks of life either , that machine analogy in science is untrue .

Human reason and consciousness cannot be the products of  the exclusively biological physical material Darwinian evolution : can't you see just that ? = they cannot be just a matter of physics and chemistry, life in general neither  .

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Consciousness, human reason, feelings , emotions, memory ,the nature of  life as a whole...... cannot be accounted for by that reductionist false materialist conception of nature = cannot be accounted for neither via physics and chemistry , nor via those magical materialist computational emergence tricks performances ...don't you think ?

Repeating it endlessly will not make it all true. Emergence certainly isn't an answer to the consciousness problem though
.

The magical computer-like computation analogy regarding life in general , and human reason in particular neither = human reason cannot be accounted for just via physics and chemistry , let alone via that mechanistic computation non-sense : can't you see just that ?

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How can any information system account for human consciousness and human reason  intellect  then ? to mention just those , if reality is exclusively material , as materialism wanna make people believe reality is  ... [/b]

It can't account for the first of those, yet (and maybe it never will because it looks like an impossible problem to solve), but there is no problem with human reason/intellect, just as there is no problem with machines doing maths. You can (or at least used to be able to get) puzzle books called "Logic Problems" where you would have to work out something from a list of pieces of information which don't directly provide you with the answer. You work out the answer by applying reason to rule out possibilities, putting crosses and ticks into a grid until the whole thing is resolved. The process is entirely mechanical and a machine could handle this task with ease, just so long as it can handle the linguistics and semantics - that's been the hard part of the process that's been holding back artificial intelligence for about seventy years, just handling the tangled way that words and meanings hang together with enormous scope for ambiguities to lead to errors in the calculations. We are about to relegate that problem to history though, because machines which can handle these all of these problems are just around the corner. What you should do is get hold of a logic problem of that kind and have a go at solving it, and then work out how you solved it and what rules you applied to do so. It's more difficult than rocket science to program a machine to do this, but it's far from being impossible.

My friend , that machine analogy regarding human reason and life in general is false , i said why earlier : and human reason is not just a matter of what you were saying : human reason is even able to question itself , its logic , its reasoning and beyond .

Try to read Nagel's book ,regarding the impossibility that human reason can be accounted for ,just via physics and chemistry ,or just via mechanistic materialist computational bullshit : that's why materialists just resort to that false and outdated machine-like , computer -like computation analogy , regarding human reason .

Humans  are the only species that  possess  reason : reason is mostly what differentiates or distinguishes  us from other species,come on  .

It all comes down to the fact that physics and chemistry + that false materialist outdated machine analogy ,cannot account for all those above listed processes ...
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Materialism, I think, presumes everything that exists is observable

Which cuts out dark matter and dark energy. These are however scientific concepts, therefore science is not inherently materialistic.

Science is the business of observe, hypothesis, test. Nothing more nor less. There is no room for -isms or any other form of prejudice in scientific endeavour.

This in no way cuts out dark matter or dark energy. Materialism presumes the observations that lead us to speculate on the existence and nature of them are entirely due to physical processes
.

Can't you read ? : materialism and science are 2 entirely different "things " , dude .
 

Offline David Cooper

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #15 on: 26/10/2013 19:33:23 »
Come on , Cooper : do not be silly : this is absurd :
You know very well , as much as i do that consciousness does exit , as you and i do : you cannot just try to avoid the hard problem of consciousness , by denying its undeniable and obvious existence , or by resorting to that "materialist promissory messianism " , in the sense that you will be able some day to explain consciousness via just physics and chemistry = cannot be done ,obviously .
Consciousness that's a non-physical and non-biological process , that's 1 of the reasons why neither materialism nor science can account for such non-material processes such as consciousness, obviously .

It would be wrong not to consider the possibility that there is no such thing as consciousness. Don't close your mind to it.

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You assumed that materialism has already solved the issue of the nature of life , the nature of human cognition ....as the guy who wrote that above mentioned article stated : i commented on the latter by saying why i did not agree with that guy's assumptions .

How far back to I have to go to find that bit? Not that it matters though, because I don't merely assume that materialism has solved the issue of the nature of life (which is just complex chemistry) and the nature of human cognition (which can be done by machines). There is no problem left there in need of discussion.

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You're inconsistent in  the way or in the sense that you said that the issues of the nature and function of the human intellect were solved by materialism, while you ,repeatedly , expressed your legetimate and true rejection of all those materialist magical "emergence " tricks ,regarding the nature and origin of consciousness = you should , logically , also reject that materialist magical "computational " trick ,regarding the nature and function of human intellect , if you wanna remain consistent with yourself at least= living organisms are no machines  .

You are imagining inconsistency where there isn't any. Intellect can be accounted for in full. Consciousness can't (yet).

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Human reason or intellect that tries to apprehend or "capture " reality ,beyond its external survival appearances , beyond the survival necessity = that human intellect in that sense that cannot be a result of any computer-like , machine -like computation , despite the fact that there are  indeed primitive forms of intellect in all species for that matter, as a means to just survival ,as a means to "read " and act upon the external appearances of the environment or reality  .

A calculator is a machine that has already surpassed human intellect in a small area of intelligence. AGI systems will surpass human intellect in all other areas soon. This is completely different from consciousness which remains a problem to be resolved.

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...What you still do not wanna see or realise is that neither the physical empirical science ,nor materialism can account for such processes such as consciousness, human reason, pain , feelings emotions ....just via physics and chemistry .

Take the bit about human reason out of that and I won't disagree with the rest, but human reason is something an ordinary computer can do (given the right software).

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Living organisms are , once again, no machine -like , computer -like entities .
Human reason, for example , goes way beyond the external appearances of reality : can any computer for that matter do just that , or reason its way to just that , by trying to reason its way all the way to the hidden mysteries of reality ...beyond reality's external appearances ...

Yes. On paper I can see how it will do it, but we'll have to wait for the completion of the build of the actual AGI system which will implement it all before we can see it in action.

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Human reason is way much more than just mechanical calculations , mechanical reasoning ...human reason tries to decipher the hidden mysteries of nature , beyond its external appearances ....

There is absolutely no barrier to a machine doing the same thing.

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Human reason, the nature of life , the nature of emotions feelings ....cannot be accounted for just via physics and chemistry : how can't you see just that .

Because I can see how machines will do the whole task. I'm not going to tell you that something can't be done when I can see that it can.

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...Human reason is not a mystery. Building models which represent the outer world in the form of data is not a mystery. Manipulating that data in order to make intelligent conclusions about things by generating new data from older data is not a mystery - it's just complex and it takes a long time to design and build the software to do the job. We are getting close to seeing it all work - we're just not quite there yet
.

Human reason is obviously much more than just that , come on, it reflects on itself , on reality , is creative , plastic , flexible , imaginative ....= a machine cannot do all that  .

A machine can do all that.

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Human reason is a conscious process mainly also , come on .

Consciousness has no essential role in it.

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I  see consciousness or the soul or Mind with a big T , as a process containing reason , emotions ,feelings , intuition ...the mind with a small t is just a part of the bigger human Mind with a big T .

Once you've had a few conversations with a non-conscious AGI system which can out-think you in every way, you'll change your mind (though not literally, of course).

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Human reason is a conscious process mainly , not a mechanical one ,dude .

Human reason is a process which can be matched by a mechanical system with no consciousness involved.

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All i am saying : even science cannot be without consciousness and intellect ,so, if human consciousness and intellect  were the products of that 'blind " random accidental purposeless ...evolution ,human consciousness and intellect as just pragmatic survival strategies then , then, it's pretty logical to question the very validity and truth of all our knowledge , including the scientific one , including that relating to evolution itself , all our knowledge that gets achieved via our consciousness intellect ...through science ............

There is nothing to stop a machine doing science without consciousness being involved in the process.

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DNA 's role and function are way too exaggerated : DNA is  not in charge of everything , DNA just "codes " the  making of proteins ....

In the case of an amoeba (single-celled creature) building its own house, there is something in the cell which serves as a machine with some computational capability. Whether it's a DNA computer or a protein computer, I cannot tell without seeing the entire mechanism laid out in detail, and even then it would likely be so complex that it will take an AGI system to understand it.

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Human reason and consciousness cannot be the products of  the exclusively biological physical material Darwinian evolution : can't you see just that ? = they cannot be just a matter of physics and chemistry, life in general neither  .

First remove the bit about reason from that. The rest isn't necessarily right either, because if consciousness is real, its integration into biological systems will have evolved.

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My friend , that machine analogy regarding human reason and life in general is false , i said why earlier : and human reason is not just a matter of what you were saying : human reason is even able to question itself , its logic , its reasoning and beyond .

It's only false when it's extended to try to cover consciousness, though even then that depends on machines being limited in the ways that conventional (and quantum) computers are limited - there may be other kinds of processing which could be done by machines which we have yet to think of designing.

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Try to read Nagel's book ,regarding the impossibility that human reason can be accounted for ,just via physics and chemistry ,or just via mechanistic materialist computational bullshit : that's why materialists just resort to that false and outdated machine-like , computer -like computation analogy , regarding human reason .

I'm not going to waste time reading a book that is plain wrong. I've seen the way it can be done and Nagel hasn't - he/she is the one who will need to shift position on this.

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Humans  are the only species that  possess  reason : reason is mostly what differentiates or distinguishes  us from other species,come on  .

That's not true (there are animals that can design and make tools to solve problems - a process depending on reasoning abilities), though we certainly do reason better than any other species on this planet.
« Last Edit: 26/10/2013 19:35:15 by David Cooper »
 

Offline Supercryptid

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #16 on: 27/10/2013 02:03:38 »
I apologize if this has been brought up already and I've missed it, but what would happen if someday we were able to detect and describe the function of something like, say, ghosts? Ghosts are normally considered immaterial and supernatural, but if we could demonstrate their existence and even gain an understanding of the processes that make them tick, would that then fit them under the umbrella of materialism? Or would they still be outside of it? Does anything detectable and provable fit into materialism?
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #17 on: 28/10/2013 18:45:29 »
I apologize if this has been brought up already and I've missed it, but what would happen if someday we were able to detect and describe the function of something like, say, ghosts? Ghosts are normally considered immaterial and supernatural, but if we could demonstrate their existence and even gain an understanding of the processes that make them tick, would that then fit them under the umbrella of materialism? Or would they still be outside of it? Does anything detectable and provable fit into materialism?
[/quote]

Try to read what Sheldrake had to say on the subject of materialism in science , in the opening's article of this thread then .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #18 on: 28/10/2013 19:16:34 »
Come on , Cooper : do not be silly : this is absurd :
You know very well , as much as i do that consciousness does exit , as you and i do : you cannot just try to avoid the hard problem of consciousness , by denying its undeniable and obvious existence , or by resorting to that "materialist promissory messianism " , in the sense that you will be able some day to explain consciousness via just physics and chemistry = cannot be done ,obviously .
Consciousness that's a non-physical and non-biological process , that's 1 of the reasons why neither materialism nor science can account for such non-material processes such as consciousness, obviously .

It would be wrong not to consider the possibility that there is no such thing as consciousness. Don't close your mind to it.

Quote
You assumed that materialism has already solved the issue of the nature of life , the nature of human cognition ....as the guy who wrote that above mentioned article stated : i commented on the latter by saying why i did not agree with that guy's assumptions .

How far back to I have to go to find that bit? Not that it matters though, because I don't merely assume that materialism has solved the issue of the nature of life (which is just complex chemistry) and the nature of human cognition (which can be done by machines). There is no problem left there in need of discussion.

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You're inconsistent in  the way or in the sense that you said that the issues of the nature and function of the human intellect were solved by materialism, while you ,repeatedly , expressed your legetimate and true rejection of all those materialist magical "emergence " tricks ,regarding the nature and origin of consciousness = you should , logically , also reject that materialist magical "computational " trick ,regarding the nature and function of human intellect , if you wanna remain consistent with yourself at least= living organisms are no machines  .

You are imagining inconsistency where there isn't any. Intellect can be accounted for in full. Consciousness can't (yet).

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Human reason or intellect that tries to apprehend or "capture " reality ,beyond its external survival appearances , beyond the survival necessity = that human intellect in that sense that cannot be a result of any computer-like , machine -like computation , despite the fact that there are  indeed primitive forms of intellect in all species for that matter, as a means to just survival ,as a means to "read " and act upon the external appearances of the environment or reality  .

A calculator is a machine that has already surpassed human intellect in a small area of intelligence. AGI systems will surpass human intellect in all other areas soon. This is completely different from consciousness which remains a problem to be resolved.

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...What you still do not wanna see or realise is that neither the physical empirical science ,nor materialism can account for such processes such as consciousness, human reason, pain , feelings emotions ....just via physics and chemistry .

Take the bit about human reason out of that and I won't disagree with the rest, but human reason is something an ordinary computer can do (given the right software).

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Living organisms are , once again, no machine -like , computer -like entities .
Human reason, for example , goes way beyond the external appearances of reality : can any computer for that matter do just that , or reason its way to just that , by trying to reason its way all the way to the hidden mysteries of reality ...beyond reality's external appearances ...

Yes. On paper I can see how it will do it, but we'll have to wait for the completion of the build of the actual AGI system which will implement it all before we can see it in action.

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Human reason is way much more than just mechanical calculations , mechanical reasoning ...human reason tries to decipher the hidden mysteries of nature , beyond its external appearances ....

There is absolutely no barrier to a machine doing the same thing.

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Human reason, the nature of life , the nature of emotions feelings ....cannot be accounted for just via physics and chemistry : how can't you see just that .

Because I can see how machines will do the whole task. I'm not going to tell you that something can't be done when I can see that it can.

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...Human reason is not a mystery. Building models which represent the outer world in the form of data is not a mystery. Manipulating that data in order to make intelligent conclusions about things by generating new data from older data is not a mystery - it's just complex and it takes a long time to design and build the software to do the job. We are getting close to seeing it all work - we're just not quite there yet
.

Human reason is obviously much more than just that , come on, it reflects on itself , on reality , is creative , plastic , flexible , imaginative ....= a machine cannot do all that  .

A machine can do all that.

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Human reason is a conscious process mainly also , come on .

Consciousness has no essential role in it.

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I  see consciousness or the soul or Mind with a big T , as a process containing reason , emotions ,feelings , intuition ...the mind with a small t is just a part of the bigger human Mind with a big T .

Once you've had a few conversations with a non-conscious AGI system which can out-think you in every way, you'll change your mind (though not literally, of course).

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Human reason is a conscious process mainly , not a mechanical one ,dude .

Human reason is a process which can be matched by a mechanical system with no consciousness involved.

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All i am saying : even science cannot be without consciousness and intellect ,so, if human consciousness and intellect  were the products of that 'blind " random accidental purposeless ...evolution ,human consciousness and intellect as just pragmatic survival strategies then , then, it's pretty logical to question the very validity and truth of all our knowledge , including the scientific one , including that relating to evolution itself , all our knowledge that gets achieved via our consciousness intellect ...through science ............

There is nothing to stop a machine doing science without consciousness being involved in the process.

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DNA 's role and function are way too exaggerated : DNA is  not in charge of everything , DNA just "codes " the  making of proteins ....

In the case of an amoeba (single-celled creature) building its own house, there is something in the cell which serves as a machine with some computational capability. Whether it's a DNA computer or a protein computer, I cannot tell without seeing the entire mechanism laid out in detail, and even then it would likely be so complex that it will take an AGI system to understand it.

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Human reason and consciousness cannot be the products of  the exclusively biological physical material Darwinian evolution : can't you see just that ? = they cannot be just a matter of physics and chemistry, life in general neither  .

First remove the bit about reason from that. The rest isn't necessarily right either, because if consciousness is real, its integration into biological systems will have evolved.

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My friend , that machine analogy regarding human reason and life in general is false , i said why earlier : and human reason is not just a matter of what you were saying : human reason is even able to question itself , its logic , its reasoning and beyond .

It's only false when it's extended to try to cover consciousness, though even then that depends on machines being limited in the ways that conventional (and quantum) computers are limited - there may be other kinds of processing which could be done by machines which we have yet to think of designing.

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Try to read Nagel's book ,regarding the impossibility that human reason can be accounted for ,just via physics and chemistry ,or just via mechanistic materialist computational bullshit : that's why materialists just resort to that false and outdated machine-like , computer -like computation analogy , regarding human reason .

I'm not going to waste time reading a book that is plain wrong. I've seen the way it can be done and Nagel hasn't - he/she is the one who will need to shift position on this.

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Humans  are the only species that  possess  reason : reason is mostly what differentiates or distinguishes  us from other species,come on  .

That's not true (there are animals that can design and make tools to solve problems - a process depending on reasoning abilities), though we certainly do reason better than any other species on this planet.
[/quote]


See what Sheldrake had to say about all that in the freshly new opening's article of this thread .
Living organisms are no machines ............= mechanistic materalism in science is false , obviously, science must  be  liberated from  .
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #19 on: 29/10/2013 19:04:38 »
It's like a cry in the middle of the desert for nobody to hear to try to make people realise the simple undeniable and obvious fact that they have been blinded by the materialist false and unscientific conception of nature -world view -ideology -belief assumption that reality as a whole  is allegedly exclusively material physical ,as materialism  makes them believe it is , a materialist false and unscientific belief assumption , they have been taking for granted as science , paradoxically enough ...
Amazing ...
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #20 on: 29/10/2013 19:15:33 »
No, I haven't been blinded by anything, or taken anything for granted. After all, I am a scientist: I make my living through unbelief and questioning all assumptions.

Just because young Rupert says something doesn't make it true or obvious. He's a nice enough guy, but a bit too full of his own assertions to be taken seriously outside of his professional field - and quite possbly within it.
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #21 on: 29/10/2013 20:07:16 »
No, I haven't been blinded by anything, or taken anything for granted. After all, I am a scientist: I make my living through unbelief and questioning all assumptions.

Just because young Rupert says something doesn't make it true or obvious. He's a nice enough guy, but a bit too full of his own assertions to be taken seriously outside of his professional field - and quite possbly within it.
[/quote]

Try to prove him wrong then : properly,not via empty rhetorics ,not via  judgements of value ,or via circular "reasoning" ... .
Sheldrake did not invent what he has been saying about those materialist dogmatic belief assumptions that have been taken for granted as ....science , he has been just stating obvious simple and undeniable facts on the subject , many people have been knowing  as such already , including myself  : i can even trace back the fact that i started getting aware of that materialist non-sense in all sciences and elsewhere to ...my teen-age time ...come on .
 

Offline SimpleEngineer

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #22 on: 31/10/2013 15:02:42 »
I just want to adress this list.. I dont know what materialism is and have no opinion.. but I believe the attack against science must be addressed.
The scientific creed:
Here are the ten core beliefs that most scientists take for granted.
1. Everything is essentially mechanical. Dogs, for example, are complex mechanisms, rather than living organisms with goals of their own. Even people are machines, “lumbering robots,” in Richard Dawkins’s vivid phrase, with brains that are like genetically programmed computers.
Not true, we know there are electrical impulses going on.. I have no idea how this could have been overlooked..
2. All matter is unconscious. It has no inner life or subjectivity or point of view. Even human consciousness is an illusion produced by the material activities of brains.
I dont think as a ascientist we make decisions based on concious or unconciousness.. we just observe, record and try to makes sense out of WHAT happens and then try to find out WHY. IF theres an illusion.. we try to break it.. not just accpet its there.
3. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same (with the exception of the Big
Bang, when all the matter and energy of the universe suddenly appeared)
.
Until proven otherwise, why can this not be believed? give a nice frame of reference for all our calculations.. if it is proven to be false, I am sure no scientist would be too stressed by it.
4. The laws of nature are fixed. They are the same today as they were at the beginning, and they will stay the same forever.
That is why we call them LAWS.. if they change then they are not LAWS, (in fact I dont really get what this means, as LAWS cant really change as they are description of what things happen whether we like it or not, if they change... again I dont think too many scientist would worry..)
5. Nature is purposeless, and evolution has no goal or direction.
Only idiots believe this, even dawkins doesnt believe this.. (some think nature is pointless but that another point) evolution is for survival this is pretty much agreed.
6. All biological inheritance is material, carried in the genetic material, DNA, and in other material structures.
There's an inheritance tax.. do i have to declare my genes? whats the value of this gene that gives me a debilitating illness? OR do you mean that the belief is that memories aren't passed down? Well if they were we would be laughing!.. they are not.. otherwise there would be no need for teachers.   
7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree,the image of the tree you are seeing is not “out there,” where it seems to be, but inside your brain.
umm.. forgive me if i am wrong but the point at which the tree is 'seen' is at the retina which is inside my eye.. until the light gets there, I cant see anything and then if the trees inside my head then i can just run through it... *OUCH* a very easily disproved belief, dont know why any scientist would believe that, most lifeforms seem to grasp this fact.
8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
I dont think science does have an explaination for memory that holds up to experiment.. but this isnt a dreadfulbeleif until proven incorrect.
9. Unexplained phenomena such as telepathy are illusory.
Not unexplained.. t here are many explanations and even so called telepaths coming out and saying, its all in the body language. Its not even illusory its fraudulent almost as fraudulent as 'mediums' (see derek akorah)
10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.
I think you will find a large majority of doctors who advocate counselling and psychiatry as part of treatment for a wide range of conditions. But lets face it, I dont think you can convince someone to regrow a leg..

So yeah I faced those beliefs.. maybe 1 or two are roughly a belief.. but the rest are quite amusing to think someone out there thinks like that.. brings back the days when i first found out about the mormon faith.. (someone 'read' the sacred text out of a hat! seriously..!!)
 

Offline DonQuichotte

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #23 on: 31/10/2013 19:02:25 »
Quote
I just want to adress this list.. I dont know what materialism is and have no opinion.. but I believe the attack against science must be addressed.
The scientific creed:
Here are the ten core beliefs that most scientists take for granted.
1. Everything is essentially mechanical. Dogs, for example, are complex mechanisms, rather than living organisms with goals of their own. Even people are machines, “lumbering robots,” in Richard Dawkins’s vivid phrase, with brains that are like genetically programmed computers.
Not true, we know there are electrical impulses going on.. I have no idea how this could have been overlooked..
2. All matter is unconscious. It has no inner life or subjectivity or point of view. Even human consciousness is an illusion produced by the material activities of brains.
I dont think as a ascientist we make decisions based on concious or unconciousness.. we just observe, record and try to makes sense out of WHAT happens and then try to find out WHY. IF theres an illusion.. we try to break it.. not just accpet its there.
3. The total amount of matter and energy is always the same (with the exception of the Big
Bang, when all the matter and energy of the universe suddenly appeared)
.
Until proven otherwise, why can this not be believed? give a nice frame of reference for all our calculations.. if it is proven to be false, I am sure no scientist would be too stressed by it.
4. The laws of nature are fixed. They are the same today as they were at the beginning, and they will stay the same forever.
That is why we call them LAWS.. if they change then they are not LAWS, (in fact I dont really get what this means, as LAWS cant really change as they are description of what things happen whether we like it or not, if they change... again I dont think too many scientist would worry..)
5. Nature is purposeless, and evolution has no goal or direction.
Only idiots believe this, even dawkins doesnt believe this.. (some think nature is pointless but that another point) evolution is for survival this is pretty much agreed.
6. All biological inheritance is material, carried in the genetic material, DNA, and in other material structures.
There's an inheritance tax.. do i have to declare my genes? whats the value of this gene that gives me a debilitating illness? OR do you mean that the belief is that memories aren't passed down? Well if they were we would be laughing!.. they are not.. otherwise there would be no need for teachers.   
7. Minds are inside heads and are nothing but the activities of brains. When you look at a tree,the image of the tree you are seeing is not “out there,” where it seems to be, but inside your brain.
umm.. forgive me if i am wrong but the point at which the tree is 'seen' is at the retina which is inside my eye.. until the light gets there, I cant see anything and then if the trees inside my head then i can just run through it... *OUCH* a very easily disproved belief, dont know why any scientist would believe that, most lifeforms seem to grasp this fact.
8. Memories are stored as material traces in brains and are wiped out at death.
I dont think science does have an explaination for memory that holds up to experiment.. but this isnt a dreadfulbeleif until proven incorrect.
9. Unexplained phenomena such as telepathy are illusory.
Not unexplained.. t here are many explanations and even so called telepaths coming out and saying, its all in the body language. Its not even illusory its fraudulent almost as fraudulent as 'mediums' (see derek akorah)
10. Mechanistic medicine is the only kind that really works.
I think you will find a large majority of doctors who advocate counselling and psychiatry as part of treatment for a wide range of conditions. But lets face it, I dont think you can convince someone to regrow a leg..

So yeah I faced those beliefs.. maybe 1 or two are roughly a belief.. but the rest are quite amusing to think someone out there thinks like that.. brings back the days when i first found out about the mormon faith.. (someone 'read' the sacred text out of a hat! seriously..!!)

That was no attack against science , just against materialism in science , materialism as a secular belief that gets sold to the people as science .

That was just the introduction of Sheldrake's book : you cannot "judge " it that way without reading Sheldrake's explanations  on the subject  ,further in his book :

As a scientist , you should know that one should not make or try to jump to any a-priori conclusions without sufficient data on the subject : you just expressed an opinion based on way too unsufficient data : way to go, scientist .

Materialism is just a false conception of nature , a false meta-paradigm in all sciences and elsewhere (including in the so-called human sciences , anthropology, evolutionary psychology , history writing , sociology ....politics , economics , ...) , materialism is just a philosophy ,a world view , an ideology (a life style also , but i am not talking about this form, or rather extension  of materialism here though ) , materialism that dates back to the 19th century , materialism that was just an Eurocentric product of those European medieval religious conflicts, materialism whose core belief assumption is that the whole reality is physical material = can be explained just in terms of physics and chemistry thus, and just in terms of their mechanistic materialist extensions  .
Materialism that has been dominating in all sciences and elsewhere since the 19th century thus at least , by imposing its own materialist core belief assumption as a "scientific " one = science "has been assuming thus since then " that the whole reality is material physical = can be explained in terms of physics and chemistry ,thanks to materialism .
But , science proper does in fact deal only with the observable , empirical ...science can therefore not consider the whole reality as just a matter of physics and chemistry = materialism has been making science go beyond its own scientific method ,and beyond science's realm and jurisdiction .
Get that ?
If you want to read that whole book of Sheldrake on the subject , just give me a sign , and i will provide you with a free  and safe  download link ...Deal ?
All those materialist dogmatic belief assumptions dominating in all sciences ,as Sheldrake talked about and more , are in fact just extensions of materialism in science : materialist extensions such as the materialist belief assumption that "the mind is in the brain, memory is stored in the brain ...." .
« Last Edit: 31/10/2013 19:08:43 by DonQuichotte »
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #24 on: 01/11/2013 01:44:14 »

Why Materialism is False ? :


Source : http://forums.intpcentral.com/showthread.php?15753-Why-Materialism-is-False

Prior Note :

Materialism is just a false conception of nature : a belief assumption = unscientific , per definition .

Science has been dominated and hijacked by materialism , materialism as a false and unscientific world view or philosophy , since the 19th century at least .

Materialism goes beyond science and its unparalleled effective scientific method  that's unlike any other for that matter  , by assuming that the universe or reality nature are exclusively material .

The following article does not necessarily reflect my own opinions or views on the subject :

The critique of materialism goes way beyond what the following article tries to approach ,summarize or tackle  :
-I-I do not agree with the author's allegations that materialism has succeeded in "solving " the challenge or hard problem of life , design, thought , morality ...
0_Materialism is just a dogmatic belief system or rather a false secular religion ideology  in science , a misconsception of nature in science , that has absolutely nothing to do with science thus , and that just tries to "validate " itself through science , in vain of course , logically and per-definition .
I_Those so-called neurocomputation mechanisms cannot account for such  non-physical non-biological  processes such as thought either .
II-Darwin's theory of evolution is only and exclusively biological physical , so, it tackles only the physical biological side of evolution, but materialists , per definition, just try to extend it to non-physical non-biological processes ,for obvious materialist ideological "reasons " that have ,obviously , nothing to do with science  .
III- That life can be approached via physics and chemistry does not mean that life is just that .
IV_ Materialism cannot , per definition, succeed in "refuting " the existence of God, design ................behind all those laws of physics ............

V-Neither the materialist version or rather the materialist misinterpretation of Darwin's exclusively biological physical theory of evolution , nor Darwin's exclusively biological physical theory of evolution can account for human morality, cognition,  life or of consciousness "fully" ........let alone their  evolution .
VI-Materialism can, per definition , not account for consciousness, life ,feelings , emotions,  human cognition , human conscience , human morality , ...."fully" , let alone their origins evolution or emergence .
_VII-The brain does not cause consciousness : that alleged causality that's ,obviously , just a materialist misinterpretation of that   mutual actual factual correlation or interaction between the brain and consciousness thus  , was never proven to be true, ever , that's just a materialist belief assumption : causation is no explanation either .
VIII-There is a lot more to say on the subject , so, i will just leave it at that ,for the time being at least .


Quote :

" Why Materialism is False:

    In short, I think materialism is false. Below is why, with a detour through the reasons why Materialism isn't false.

    I don't mind if you read this or not, just thought I'd share for anyone remotely interested. No, it's not particularly well written or well structured, and there is so much more that could be said on this topic, but ... meh.

    _______________________________________________________________

    Materalism, I define as follows:
    'The theory that physical matter is the only reality and that everything, including thought, feeling, mind, and will, can be explained in terms of matter and physical phenomena.' - Answers.com
    First, there is an important distinction to be made. Materialism and Science are not the same thing. Science is the study of the natural world, so Science has no jurisdiction over any theory regarding that which cannot be empirically tested.

    For example, suppose a Theist were to conjecture that God is the law enforcer of the universe, ensuring that at every moment, at every place, all physical occurrences obeyed the laws that God has decreed. This conjecture is impossible to test scientifically, since all possible experimental observations are consistent with its predictions. However, the unscientific character of our Theist's conjecture does not mean that it is false; the answer to the question is simply outside of the jurisdiction of the Scientific method.

    The philosophy of Materialism goes beyond the Scientific Method, postulating that only the material exists. This would place the Materialist in disagreement with our Theist. If it is true that only the material exists, then the Theist's law enforcer God does not exist, since that God would qualify as immaterial.

    The above constitutes the important distinction between Materialism and Science, whilst also explaining why Materialists are always Scientists. However the philosophy of Materialism should not be conflated with that of Science, as it is possible to both be a Scientist and not be a Materialist.

    _______________________________________________________________


    Materialism has always been an unpopular philosophy, with critics branding it as cold, uncaring and fundamentally amoral. The philosophy has had its most bitter rivals in that of Theism, as Materialism denies the truth of religious scripture, denying the existence of God, the afterlife and the immortal soul. Despite this, Materialism has stumbled on, with proponents offering Materialistic solutions to many of the long standing problems in philosophy. The problems listed below have stood as criticisms to the Materialistic philosophy now and in the past. The list is not comprehensive, but does reflect what I believe to have been the key problems that Materialism has overcome.

    1) The problem of life
    2) The problem of design
    3) The problem of thought
    4) The problem of morality
    Here I will sketch a brief overview of what each problem is and how I believe the Materialist can solve it.

    The first and easiest is the problem of life. The problem arises from the unique properties and capabilities of living organisms; it had seemed incomprehensible that the mechanical world of physics could explain the biological. Something else was needed, so it was postulated that a vital force animated living matter, imbuing it with lifelike qualities. The doctrine held that life was inexplicable in terms of physicochemical interactions. If the Materialist could not explain life, then Materialism must be false.

    The Materialist did not get his answer to this problem in one sweeping theory, but rather a cumulation of experimental findings, from William Harvey's discovery that the circularitory system was a cleverly engineered mechanism to pump blood around the body, to Fracis Crick and James Watson's discovery of the double helix structure of DNA. The march of scientific progress has unveiled the fine structure of cellular machinery, all working impeccably from physicochemical laws without the need for a vital animating force.

    Here the Materialist can explain how life works without appealing to any immaterial vital essence, but there still remains another problem to be solved. This is the problem of design. How is it that this incredible arrangement of organised matter came into being? The odds that such organisation would occur by chance are astronomically low, but life is bustling all around us in a multitude of forms. If the Materialist cannot explain this design, then Materialism must be false.

    In 1859, in a joint paper by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace that explanation was provided. The Materialist now had The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection i.e. The gradual accumulation of adaptive organisation by selective advantage. This elegant theory has provided the Materialist with an answer to the problem of design, which has in time been corroborated by a vast amount of evidence, from practically every field of scientific study.

    The problem of design had been solved, but an interesting disagreement between Alfred Russell Wallace and Charles Darwin persisted. The problem of thought presented itself. To Wallace, the human capacity for reasoned thought was beyond the reach of evolution, a feat which could simply not have been achieved by anything other than supernatural intervention, or in other words: God given. How could it be that a physical system could possibly think? If Materialism cannot explain how it is that we think, then Materialism must be false.

    The answer to the problem today is all around us, in front of anyone reading this at this very moment, i.e. computation. Alan Turing's Turing machine and the advent of modern electronics are a vivid illustration that complex computational architecture, obeying only the laws of physics can perform intelligent operations. The Materialist can now look to neurobiology, where cognition is explained as the consequent of neurocomputations occurring in parallel throughout the central nervous system. The Materialist now has his answer to Wallace's conjecture that the capacity for reason is unevolvable and must be God given.

    So the Materialist has provided powerful arguments to solve the problem of life, the problem of design and the problem thought. Unlike these three problems, the final problem on my list cannot refute Materialism. If Materialism is indeed amoral, it would be a nonsequitor to conclude from Materialism's amorality that it is false. For this reason, the problem of morality is a special case, but nonetheless very powerful. Briefly, the argument claims that if we are nothing but an unintentional consequence of natural selection, nothing but elaborate machines and built by selfish genes, then there is no reason to work for a higher purpose. For what reason should we treat our fellow man with compassion? What becomes of right and wrong with no God?

    The answer to this problem is the combined product of evolutionary biology, neurobiology and philosophy. The combined solutions to the previous three problems set the stage for solving the problem of morality. First, evolutionary biology, far from undermining the basis of morality, can explain why we have a moral sense in the first place. Second, neurobiology has provided scientists with evidence of how the human brain computes moral decisions. Finally, philosophers have raised objections to the accusation that Materialism is inherently amoral, refuting the accusations with powerful solutions and counterarguments.

    Note: I am sure many reading this may object to the solutions I have presented to the 'four problems,' such objections are welcome and I encourage further criticism.

    ________________________________________________________________

    I have taken this detour through the successes of Materialism to drive home that I have no political agenda against the philosophy, religiously motivated or otherwise. I now wish to draw attention to my fifth problem for Materialism:

    5) The problem of consciousness
    A single element of conscious experience is called a quale, a group of quale are known as qualia. A quale might be the subjective experience of red, cold or pain. All quale are symbolic representations of frequencies and angles. The problem for Materialism is explaining qualia, the subjective experience of life, the very subjective experience without which we cannot imagine life being worth living at all. How can a physical system such as the brain be responsible for consciousness?. This is no small problem, for if Materialism cannot explain consciousness, then Materialism is false.

    The problem of consciousness has puzzled philosophers for centuries. To clarify the problem, imagine opening up my brain whilst displaying a large red circle to my eyes. After some probing, you discover a cluster of neurons whose combined activity is responsible for my conscious experience of red. However, all you have is my word to go on, there is nothing special about that particular cluster of neurons, no telltale sign that these are responsible for my conscious experience. To the outside observer, the entire neurocomputational system would work exactly the same whether or not I was actually consciously experiencing the red circle. To make make matters more puzzling, even if I am consciously experiencing life, how do you know that what you call red is what I call red? So long as the frequencies and angles which these qualia represent maintain a constant relation to each other, then for all you know my conscious experience of red might be radically different to yours.

    No matter where you look in my brain, even if you are looking at that particular cluster of neurons responsible for my conscious experience of red, you cannot sensibly say that you are looking at the quale redness. The redness I see is qualitively independent of the neural substrate that is responsible for that quale. To put this another way, I would argue that qualia are ontologically irreducible to the neural substrate, that is, qualia have independent qualities which cannot be explained at the physical level. However, I also would argue that consciousness is entirely caused by the neural substrate, that consciousness has no informational content or cognitive ability above that which occurs on the neurocomputational level i.e. consciousness is causally reducible to the neural substrate.

    To clarify, we can play a thought experiment involving two billiard balls. Billiard ball 1 and billiard ball 2. First take these two examples:

    1) Imagine ball 1 moving on a trajectory toward ball 2. As ball 1 strikes ball 2, both have a change of velocity.
    2) Imagine ball 1 moving on a trajectory toward ball 2. This time, imagine that ball 2 is invisible. As ball 1 strikes ball 2, both have a change of velocity.
    Notice that in example number 2 we infer the existence of ball 2 because of the change in velocity of ball 1. We cannot directly experience ball 2, so our knowledge of ball 2 is limited by it's relationship to ball 1. Now, take a third example:

    3) Imagine ball 1 moving on a trajectory toward ball 2. This time, imagine that ball 2 is invisible and has a one way causal relationship to ball 1. As ball 1 strikes ball 2, only ball 2 changes its velocity and ball 1 carries on at a constant speed, in a straight line.
    In this thought experiment, ball 2 exists and it's change in velocity is caused by ball 1, but to any observer unable to register ball 2, it remains completely invisible and undetectable. My conjecture is that qualia are like ball 2, which is why the conscious experience of other human beings is impossible to detect, the causal interaction is one way.

    The problem for the Materialist is that consciousness itself is immaterial, the frequencies and angles that make up subjective experience may be caused by, but are not part of the Material world. Thus, I conclude that Materialism is false.

    ________________________________________________________________

    A possible criticism of my theory is that consciousness is an emergent consequence of brain activity. This is a tempting view to take, analogous to the quality of wetness. A body of water is wet, even though no particular element of that body of water is wet. To clarify, a single molecule of H2O cannot be wet, because the quality of wetness is dependent upon the interactions of the constituent parts, without belong to any of those particular constituent parts. Wetness is an emergent property. A critic might conjecture that consciousness is also an emergent property of brain activity.

    I do not think that consciousness is an emergent product of brain activity. The difference between wetness and consciousness is that the quality of wetness follows from the physical laws governing the behavior of H2O, that is, given only the laws of physics I could predict that particular chemical substances would have the emergent property of wetness. The same cannot be said of consciousness. Given only the laws of physics, I could not predict the emergence of consciousness, it simply does not follow that from any complex neurocomputational system that consciousness should be." End Quote.


Don says "The following article does not necessarily reflect my own opinions or views on the subject", so there's no point in refuting it, but Don will keep posting and posting it again to support his hysterical aversion to Science which can "say nothing" about the other side of reality.
« Last Edit: 01/11/2013 01:51:43 by cheryl j »
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Why Materialism Is False ? :
« Reply #24 on: 01/11/2013 01:44:14 »

 

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