Logic Question #1 and the “why?”

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by WendyDarling, Sep 10, 2021.

  1. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, W4U hit the nail on the head about "nothing at all" after death.

    People who claim they have no dreams could be basing that on a persistent lack of ability to remember them -- a kind of missing time between falling asleep and waking up. Maybe they don't, maybe they do.

    Being dead is the ideal non-consciousness, where one can be assured (at least according to anti-panpsychism orientations) that there are no dreams, thoughts, perceptions, feelings. And the deceased brain isn't even generating the auditory blankness and conceptual awareness of silence, the empty "screen" of blindness, etc. Basically a return to the non-mental character of matter in general (neither manifested nor understood).

    A conventional materialist (as well as most people) will assert that the world still exists, it's just "invisible" to itself when minus the manifestations of experience and identifications of cognitive activity.

    However, there are eccentric materialists like Galen Stawson who are panpsychists or protopanpsychists. In those versions atoms or molecules or interactions or the EM field pervading space (or whatever) may have primitive "shown events" associated with them. But presumedly without any cognitive organization that could validate that they "are there".

    Such accordingly serves no purpose other than to explain what the complex experiences of brains emerge from, or to assert that matter or the universe does not utterly exist in an "absent to itself" manner (except for organisms and any conscious AI).

    Even though the experiences/manifestations a brain is having are publicly undetectable no matter what level a scientist is working at: particle physics or neural tissue. That's why the idea that consciousness doesn't exist may carry weight in some corners of the academic world (when "consciousness" is narrowed down to that specific facet, the intellectual operations set aside that aren't dependent upon phenomenal expression).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  3. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    So does after death exist or not?
    Certainly from a living perspective the observer can see a corpse, so for that perspective after death exists.
    Then we would have to define person in a way that doesn't provide contradiction for if a person (ego-identity) is merely attributes of a living physical body then after death exists as a corpse. ( ashes to ashes etc)
    However if one wishes to consider that the ego id etc. is somehow special or aloof to the physical then, claiming that the ego or identity no longer exists after death is a rational position, but to do so contradicts the previously mentioned claim that the living body is all that there is to begin with and continues to exist in a dead state as a corpse.
    It is quite intuitive to feel that the mind/body duality is real yet one wonders whether the non-dualism that medical science is suggesting is more the reality.
     
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  5. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    so if Nothing has the potential to be everything then death of the ego is what?
    In some circles death is considered a state of unification with everything...or by destroying the ego ( delusion of identity ) one can become Nothing (everything)
    A few movies deal with this concept.. one that I watched recently was called "Lucy". Worth a watch if you don't mind onscreen violence for the philosophical content.

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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I still like Tegmark's proposition that it is the dynamic brain pattern formation that yields an emergent quality of consciousness.
    When you die nothing physical changes, it is just the pattern in which everything is arranged that changes.

    He cites the example of freezing to death.
    When you freeze, your body retains all its constituent parts. It's just that the dynamic arrangement of the brain cells changes and makes the difference between being alive (dynamic) and dead (static). That makes perfect sense to me.

    It can be compared to a set of H2O molecules existing in a fluid (dynamic) state of water or in a solid (static) state of ice. Either emergent state being the result of temperature and pattern density, where one state has an emergent quality of "wetness" and the other an emergent quality of "dryness".
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
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  8. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

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    Yah, the now inanimate body remains as fact, but there's no subjective or personal verification of the condition of being dead -- or "this one" being absent consciously and identity/memory wise from the Earth. As Bering mentions below, there's a kind of private immortality between the boundaries of the first increments of awareness in the womb and the last ones (hopefully many years later).

    Jesse Bering: Consider the rather startling fact that you will never know you have died. You may feel yourself slipping away, but it isn’t as though there will be a “you” around who is capable of ascertaining that, once all is said and done, it has actually happened. Just to remind you, you need a working cerebral cortex to harbor propositional knowledge of any sort, including the fact that you’ve died—and once you’ve died your brain is about as phenomenally generative as a head of lettuce. In a 2007 article published in the journal Synthese, University of Arizona philosopher Shaun Nichols puts it this way: “When I try to imagine my own non-existence I have to imagine that I perceive or know about my non-existence. No wonder there’s an obstacle!”

    This observation may not sound like a major revelation to you, but I bet you’ve never considered what it actually means, which is that your own mortality is unfalsifiable from the first-person perspective. This obstacle is why writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe allegedly remarked that “everyone carries the proof of his own immortality within himself.”
    --Never Say Die: Why We Can't Imagine Death

    If the philosophy of time view called eternalism was metempirically correct (i.e, all moments or different states of the universe co-exist) then your whole lifetime would literally never cease to be and has always existed.

    As H.G. Wells put it in "The Time Machine" and Hermann Weyl decades later, only the consciousness (phenomenal experiences) of an organism actually "moves" in a block-universe. (Though I'd contend that even that is figurative or an illusion, but too much of a detour to explore here. Suffice it to say that their older, clumsier conception is quicker.)

    Contrasting with eternalism is of course presentism, wherein the "next now" replaces and obliterates the immediate one -- the past and future accordingly don't exist, only each fleeting, new universal "now".

    There's only so far I could go in being a devil's advocate for slash defender of physicalism or methodological naturalism, when treated as ultimate reality. Since I pretty much regard such in an epistemological context as being the best way for understanding and manipulating the affairs of the phenomenal world.

    While there could be neural correlates with unique signatures of activity, the emergence of phenomenal experiences (the manifestations of consciousness) can't be detected publicly in the brain either as some weirdo "new field" that has emerged or new properties that matter or electrochemical activity has suddenly acquired. So brute emergence is clearly along the line that brain processes have either conjured or summoned something utterly radical that is dualistic (cannot be publicly detected/verified, though privately you can apprehend those presentations and feelings being there).

    The alternative is a softer type of emergence (sans conjuring) where the brain is merely arranging and jacking-up in complexity internal states that matter already has, but likewise cannot be detected. The plus to that view is that by making experience fundamental (proto-panexperientialism, anyway) you eliminate the appearance of magic that's associated with brute or strong emergence. And its blatant dualism, too. (However, matter throughout the universe having a "double-aspectism" is then introduced: extrinsic states that physics deals with and intrinsic states that only a sophisticated cognitive system can finally verify to itself as being the case).
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This is exactly what Tegmark posits also;

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    Tegmark sees this in a similar way, except he does not think this is dualism (an external agency).
    He proposes that emergent qualities are a result of pattern arrangement, i.e. most patterns are not conscious, some (very few) are, but start as simple reactive behaviors.

    I believe that consciousness is an evolved excellence of sensory refinement, which starts in very simple organisms.
    Sunflowers have heliotropism, whales use sonar to navigate and birds can navigate the earth's magnetic field.

    IOW all these conscious experiences are emergent properties and could not have evolved but for natural selection and gradual refinement of sensory reactive networks (patterns)?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2021
  10. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    That's the second misuse of the word "logic" in this thread.

    The second law of thermodynamics says that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases. The universe is an isolated system. We observe entropy increasing in the universe, in general. So it would be logical to conclude that the entropy of the universe was lower in the past than it is now.

    What's illogical about that?

    Maybe you should spend more time listening to experts like Carroll rather than looking for new ways to confirm your pre-existing beliefs about the mathematical universe etc. Try challenging yourself with something new. Try looking at something that you might possibly disagree with. Don't give up as soon as something appears to conflict with your existing faith.
     
  11. Vociferous Valued Senior Member

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    Anything minus itself is zero. If you think anything minus itself still equals something, you'll have to take that up with arithmetic.
    The difference between no A and no anything is only one of degree. You'll need quite a bit more reasoning to justify how "no A" precludes "no anything."

    Unless you believe the world is a zero sum game or people being a priori unable to, people create, invent, and originate something from nothing all the time.
     
  12. river

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    B why ; because A could never happen .
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Why not?
     
  14. river

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    Because nothing has no dimensions .
     
  15. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Or... all of the dimensions of nothing are zero.
     
  16. river

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    Nothing does not have any dimensions in the first place . So less than zero .
     
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Why not?

    Even if your premise was true, that makes no sense. Less than zero dimensions is not possible.
     
  18. river

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    Because Something is the Exact Opposite of Nothing .
     
  19. river

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    Nor is zero dimensions .
     

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