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Author Topic:   Materialism
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 21 of 114 (738191)
10-05-2014 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Faith
10-05-2014 7:19 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
OK, here's another question. If you simply decide that ghosts are made of ghostium, that's imputing a material nature to them isn't it, and in that case, wouldn't you expect science to be able to detect it and do things with it, since that's what science does

Just deciding and imputing does not make it so. Actually detecting using scientific means would of course demonstrate materiality.

At the very least science would want to collect some to put under a microscope or into a test tube.

Assuming such a thing is even possible, yes. But simply deciding to make the attempt does not demonstrate anything. Perhaps that's actually your point.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Faith, posted 10-05-2014 7:19 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by Faith, posted 10-05-2014 11:27 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 114 (738207)
10-06-2014 11:11 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Faith
10-05-2014 11:27 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
but disembodied spiritual entities would have to be detected directly, and that doesn't happen except under very exceptional conditions to very few people, and materialists won't even allow that those things really happen at all, being all from Missouri and having a profound distrust in the honesty of their fellow man.

The only thing I take issue with here is the implication related to honesty. Even an honest person can mis-classify, or be subject to illusion and delusion.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Faith, posted 10-05-2014 11:27 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:55 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 30 of 114 (738208)
10-06-2014 11:32 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Dr Adequate
10-05-2014 11:58 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Well, if you can see ghosts they must reflect light. This suggests that they're ... stuff. I mean, assuming they exist and have the properties usually ascribed to them.

I think your imagination is failing you here. Do we see the sun only because it reflects light? Perhaps ghosts emit light.

You can touch your closed eyelids and generate sensations of color, yet no light is involved. There may be other ways to produce light sensations without using lights. Maybe ghosts do that.

Ghosts might be capable of manipulating objects, but in ways that are completely foreign to the forces we are familiar with, and in ways that no other objects can. In my view it is not a given that we would ever redefine 'material' to include such things.

When we talk about materialism and matter (which I presume to include energy despite some comments I see here) there is assumption that we know all of the forms of matter and energy and that we have identified things that are not real like ghosts and rules in the universe like karama. We are willing to expand the known when we learn things that are close analogues or are predictable from what we know. But we'd be hard pressed to admit spirits in as long as the evidence for them is of extremely poor quality.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-05-2014 11:58 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:56 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 35 of 114 (738213)
10-06-2014 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 33 by Faith
10-06-2014 12:56 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
I think including energy would make this subject far more complicated than it needs to be. I still like PaulK's definition: it's about what things are made of. We can get that one confused enough as it is.

The problem with your take is that the question is complicated. The inherent sloppiness in defining materialism as "What things are made" is exactly the point of the OP.

We can talk about matter alone, but every interaction between material objects is about a transfer or a change in form of energy. I don't believe it is possible to talk with precision about the boundaries of materialism without acknowledging energy and forces.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:56 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 2:04 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 36 of 114 (738214)
10-06-2014 1:55 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by Faith
10-06-2014 12:55 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
You're right, it isn't always a distrust of people's honesty, but of their rationality or good judgment.

Or just a matter of human limitation. We don't have to accuse people of having poor judgment every time they are mistaken about something.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 12:55 PM Faith has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 114 (738230)
10-06-2014 9:18 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Faith
10-06-2014 2:04 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Talking with precision about this is a remote objective at this point. it seems to me we should be trying to simplify it as much as possible, and as far as the Mind-Body Problem goes it doesn't require us to get into the scientific definitions.

Avoiding science is just your objective. But trading away what others might find to be minimal amounts of complexity for imprecision might not be what everyone chooses. For me saying materialism is about stuff and things, where things and stuff are undefined is not helpful.

Other people might consider mind to fall entirely within the material portion and find your dichotomy irrelevant. In any event, watching you struggle with concepts like velocity suggests that your proposal might be incomplete.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 2:04 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 10:16 PM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 40 of 114 (738234)
10-06-2014 10:43 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Faith
10-06-2014 10:16 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The Mind-Body Problem is not *my* dichotomy, this is a famous philosophical problem.

Okay.

Nobody finds mind to fall within the material, it's clearly not matter, or you could study it the way you study matter and you can't.

I don't care whose dichotomy it is. Yes you can make progress applying empirical and material methods in studying the mind.

If you find it useful to define materialism in this way, then do so. I don't personally find it useful to do so, and I've given reasons for why I find this particular definition inadequate. So far I don't see any particular rebuttal from you addressing my reasons so perhaps discussion between you and I isn't going to be productive.

We relate to each other's minds and personalities and never see each other's brains after all.

People react with each other in ways that are entirely expressed through material means. Speech, seeing, contact etc. are all entirely physical and material phenomena. So the fact that we don't see each others brains is besides the point.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Faith, posted 10-06-2014 10:16 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 1:00 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 42 of 114 (738238)
10-07-2014 3:10 AM
Reply to: Message 41 by Faith
10-07-2014 1:00 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Oh I dunno, I get a piece of your mind from your posts at EvC all the way across the country without seeing your lips move or hearing the sound of your voice.

Yes. By reading what I write. No big mystery.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 1:00 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 7:05 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 114 (738242)
10-07-2014 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 43 by Faith
10-07-2014 7:05 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Don't even get to see you write it,

Isn't the written word wonderful. You did not get to see anyone write the Bible either. In fact the authors are all dead. Yet when you read it and you understand the relationship ancient people had with their God.

You can get the same impression from reading "Cry, the beloved Country" but in that case you will be reading fiction and understanding the feelings of people who never existed all written by a deceased author.

If you have a point, this isn't the way to make it.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Faith, posted 10-07-2014 7:05 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 114 (738268)
10-07-2014 6:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Dr Adequate
10-04-2014 10:02 PM


Here is a link to an article asking a similar question:

https://philosophynow.org/issues/42/What_is_Materialism

quote:
Materialism asserts that everything is or can be explained in relation to matter. This would be straightforward enough if we had a clear and stable idea of matter. But do we?

Unfortunately, we don’t.


I think you're question about ghostium relates to the question asked here.

quote:
we have arrived at a picture that takes mass and energy to be central, that makes shape unnecessary, and makes position in space problematic. Since Einstein, many physicists have regarded matter as a ‘lumpy’ form of energy. And quantum physics, with its Uncertainty Principle and probability waves, severs any necessary connection between being material and having some particular shape at some definite location. A materialist influenced by Cartesian physics offers us a very different picture of the world than a materialist influenced by quantum mechanics. The point is that the laws of physics (or, rather, our versions of them) are open to change. This means that our current concepts of matter (mass and energy) may change as well.

The solution seems to be to define matter as whatever physicists finally say it is. That's probably pretty close to my view.

quote:
The commitment to interventionism and exemptionism are obvious in the case of supernatural and religious phenomena. Gods, ghosts, witches and magicians intervene in the physical world by summoning forces and energy unknown to physics. Neither can immortal souls can be understood in terms described by science.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Dr Adequate, posted 10-04-2014 10:02 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 76 of 114 (738302)
10-08-2014 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 64 by Faith
10-08-2014 3:24 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
But I still iike my original point that it is the person who is initiating the communication, the thoughts you write down for instance, not the brain, which is simply the necessary apparatus for conveying them. Or for their existence at all in a material body perhaps.

I suppose you do like your own position.

What you are calling your point is just an assertion, and the closest you've come to defending it is putting up some analogies, at least one of which you say you don't like anymore.

What you are doing is not much of an argument. You are just stating your position.

We all seem to agree that the mind and brain are tied closely together, but obviously we disagree about the nature of the tie. What is the most persuasive argument you have for your model? Is there some situation in which the difference manifests itself in some sharp way?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 3:24 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 11:19 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 78 of 114 (738304)
10-08-2014 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 77 by Faith
10-08-2014 11:19 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
The "assertions" are observations that any rational person ought to be able to confirm with half a minute's consideration

Please describe one of these observations.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 77 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 11:19 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 85 of 114 (738324)
10-08-2014 8:37 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Faith
10-08-2014 7:48 PM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Also I've tried to make it clear that I'm not arguing at this point for physical separation of mind and brain, all I'm arguing is that they are entirely different things though intimately connected.

I doubt that any of the participants would disagree with this statement. I certainly don't.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 84 by Faith, posted 10-08-2014 7:48 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 87 by Faith, posted 10-09-2014 1:50 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 88 of 114 (738335)
10-09-2014 3:44 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by Faith
10-09-2014 1:50 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Glad to hear it, that's two now. And you two treat it as something that you can just observe and assess as I do too.

The mind is a function of the brain's operation. It is not separable from the brain in any way. It is no more separable than a punch is separable from fists. Yet a punch and a fist are two different things. Even after reading PaulK's response, I don't see much more than semantics in his disagreement.

In the course of discussing the mind, it is conventional to characterize it non physical terms. But is that convention anything more than just language usage? I think not. That is the point we are asking you to support.

More to the point, there is absolutely no evidence of anything non-materialistic about the mind's operation. Personality, memory, intellect, are all affected by brain injury and disruption in brain function. If there is some way to show that there is some separate, non-materialistic entity that operates the brain, you haven't managed to show any observation that demonstrates that.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by Faith, posted 10-09-2014 1:50 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 89 by Faith, posted 10-09-2014 9:30 AM NoNukes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 90 of 114 (738367)
10-09-2014 12:42 PM
Reply to: Message 89 by Faith
10-09-2014 9:30 AM


Re: Mind-Body Problem
Well, there's a nice bald unsupported assertion for you, sheer assumption.

It is an assertion yes, but not one I intended to prove. I did not want to leave the impression that you and I were in agreement.

But I think we can verify that mental activity is attached to brain activity even if we cannot decode that activity. We know what areas of the brain are involved in different types of reasoning, in processing sensory input, in motor activity, in memory and recall. We know the effects of removing some portions of the brain and on severing communication between portions of the brain. That is at least some evidence for the my assertion. You are not able to cite any evidence at all for your position.

Further, you don't seem to be able to describe any phenomena that would show some separate functioning. When I ask you to do so you respond with 'have a nice day'. Or say things like 'any rational person out to agree with me'.

Can you cite any activity of the mind that you know or suspect does not use the brain at all? If you could do that, you'd at least have some real reason to complain that others don't see what you see. But you cannot.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 89 by Faith, posted 10-09-2014 9:30 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by Faith, posted 10-09-2014 4:37 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
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