Jump to content
Unexplained Mysteries uses cookies. By using the site you consent to our use of cookies as per our Cookie Policy.
Close X
Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -

Aquila King's Blog

  • entries
    7
  • comments
    65
  • views
    601

3 Philisophical Arguments Against Materialism

Aquila King

442 views

The three primary philosophical arguments for consciousness being separate from the material brain:

  1. Perfect Scientific Understanding Argument - If (or when) we reach an absolute perfect scientific understanding of a biological system, and we know absolutely every single detail pertaining to what makes up the material structure of any living thing, including every minute detail of that living thing's physiological brain structure, there would still be one thing that we wouldn't know. Namely, what it is like to be that living thing. Therefore consciousness must be something other than the material structure of something, since knowing all there is to know of the material structure leaves out the conscious experience of it.
  2. The Zombie Argument - Imagine a human being who on the outside acts no different from that of any other human being, however internally has no consciousness at all whatsoever. And if you ask them: "are you conscious?", they'd respond: "of course I'm conscious!", completely 'unaware' that they lack any sort of consciousness whatsoever, a true 'zombie' so to speak. This isn't to say that such non-conscious entities positively do exist, but simply the mere possibility that such a zombie could exist, shows that consciousness must be something somewhat separate from the material brain, since there's no logical reason why 'zombies' (at least in this sense) couldn't exist.
  3. The Chinese Room Argument - This argument is in response to a specific argument for materialism, namely that if you design the right artificial intelligence with the right computer program, that this alone is sufficient in creating consciousness. It goes as follows: Take any cognitive function you don't currently have. For this example, I don't speak Chinese. Someone sits me in a room and asks me to answer questions in Chinese. I don't know Chinese, but they hand me a rulebook that tells me the proper steps I need to implement in order to answer the questions in Chinese. This rulebook represents this supposed computer program. Of course I don't know what these symbols in Chinese mean, but the rule book was written so good that I'm able to follow it's proper steps in shuffling these symbols around in proper order so as to accurately answer each of these questions in Chinese. From an outside observer, my answers would be indistinguishable from a native speaker of Chinese, but in reality I don't understand a word of Chinese. I'm just following the rulebook and shuffling symbols without consciously comprehending what any of the symbols mean, and there's no way for me to actually learn Chinese by simply shuffling around symbols in a room. So here's the main crux of the argument: If I don't understand Chinese on the basis of implementing the rules in the rulebook (aka the computer program), then neither does any other computer solely on that basis. Therefore, consciousness must be something more then just a 'program' in the hardwire that is the brain.

Ultimately materialism excludes all qualitative experiences by attempting to reduce them all down to the quantitative level. Though this just simply does not work. The qualitative conscious experience is a uniquely separate thing altogether that must be measured independent of material structures.



11 Comments


Recommended Comments

This sounds more like three arguments against consciousness, the arguments can be reworded for non-material consciousness and the same problems arise.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

I think you should start practicing magick aquila. Get some real first hand experience. Instead of speculating on the "evils" of materialism.

Share this comment


Link to comment
1 hour ago, XenoFish said:

I think you should start practicing magick aquila. Get some real first hand experience. Instead of speculating on the "evils" of materialism.

I don't find Materialism 'evil'. Hell, most of the evil in this world comes from the religious, not the atheist.

The worst trait typical of atheists is a slight bit of cynicism and nihilism (and sometimes piety), but that's hardly a crime.

Atheists/Materialists don't go around stripping people of their civil rights or suicide bombing s**t or anything like that.

I just don't believe it to be factually correct. I've got nothing personal against it.

 

I guess the main reason why I speak against it so much on here is simply because I hate being lumped in with the religious nuts out there. I disagree with materialism in that I find spiritual concepts like the 'soul' and the 'afterlife' (etc.) to be a genuine possibility, and that if such things exist then there must be some sort of science behind it as yet not accepted by the current scientific establishment. I find evidence such as ESP and NDE research to be quite compelling, and the alternative materialistic explanations for such things to be in many cases lacking and far-fetched. I take the position that I take based on reason, logic, evidence, philosophy, etc. Not because of 'faith' or 'wishful/magical' thinking. There are many things in my own position that I honestly would rather be otherwise, but I have to at least try and conform my beliefs to the facts, not the other way around. I'm not religious, and I find it frustrating that materialists can be so quick to lump me in with those nut jobs despite the very clear distinction. That and the fact that alternative explanations of things are shut down and ignored despite such evidence truly existing. It's this kind of dogma I have such problem with.

I think I'll have to write a post about religion next to show people just what I mean...

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, Aquila King said:

I don't find Materialism 'evil'. Hell, most of the evil in this world comes from the religious, not the atheist.

The worst trait typical of atheists is a slight bit of cynicism and nihilism (and sometimes piety), but that's hardly a crime.

Atheists/Materialists don't go around stripping people of their civil rights or suicide bombing s**t or anything like that.

I just don't believe it to be factually correct. I've got nothing personal against it.

 

I guess the main reason why I speak against it so much on here is simply because I hate being lumped in with the religious nuts out there. I disagree with materialism in that I find spiritual concepts like the 'soul' and the 'afterlife' (etc.) to be a genuine possibility, and that if such things exist then there must be some sort of science behind it as yet not accepted by the current scientific establishment. I find evidence such as ESP and NDE research to be quite compelling, and the alternative materialistic explanations for such things to be in many cases lacking and far-fetched. I take the position that I take based on reason, logic, evidence, philosophy, etc. Not because of 'faith' or 'wishful/magical' thinking. There are many things in my own position that I honestly would rather be otherwise, but I have to at least try and conform my beliefs to the facts, not the other way around. I'm not religious, and I find it frustrating that materialists can be so quick to lump me in with those nut jobs despite the very clear distinction. That and the fact that alternative explanations of things are shut down and ignored despite such evidence truly existing. It's this kind of dogma I have such problem with.

I think I'll have to write a post about religion next to show people just what I mean...

Things that are factually correct can be proven. God, can't. So the best path is the middle one. Either agnostic where you think god might exist, or apatheistic were it doesn't matter either way. The more research one does in the area of the spiritual, the less and less they'll see of it. Sure there might b a possibility, but there again, an agnostic approach is of more benefit. I'd love for ghost, etc, to exist. Would mean a lot to me, but I can not hold to speculation. Same goes for psychic abilities. There is too much fraud. Plus there is no true way to test for them. Even hunting for ghost using equipment designed for other purposes does little to prove them. Have I seen ghost? Yes. Have I seen UFO's? Yes. Do I believe these things to be "true"? No. I question them. To be certain of what's occurred. Yes there are some Grade A-hole level skeptics around. Hard nosed atheist. But remember first hand experience is always the best. I honestly think if you did create and fire a sigil it would open your eyes a bit. Delve a bit into my world. I can even show you how to see ghost. It can be trippy.

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
16 minutes ago, XenoFish said:

I honestly think if you did create and fire a sigil it would open your eyes a bit. Delve a bit into my world. I can even show you how to see ghost. It can be trippy.

In the spirit of open-minded skepticism and inquiry, I'd certainly be happy to.

Feel free to PM me any time with instructions. (links would also be appreciated)

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

I'll share it for anyone to try.

Sigil Creation 1

Sigil Creation Method 2

The statement of intent is thus.

"It is my will to see spirits" (this can be broken down to two sentiences

"It is my will"

"To see spirits"

I use this method.

You remove the repeating letters for thus.

TSMYW (first sentience)

TOPR (second sentience)

Combine these letters into an "arcane symbol" of your own creation. Here is an example from A.O. Spare himself.

obtain-the-strength-of-a-tiger.jpg

How you choose to empower this image, well that's up to you and I'll let you do the research on that. I use them as a focal point. Typically for only 20 minutes. But 'Do what thou wilt."

 

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Liquid Gardens

Posted

Consciousness is a puzzler, but I'm wondering what qualities we are proposing it to have.  Although I think everyone knows what you mean when you say 'what is it like', it's a little more difficult for me to break down much further.  Materialism doesn't really exclude all qualitative experiences; what the color red looks like to me isn't anything I can explain but materialism doesn't deny that it looks like something to me even though it is likely subjective and qualitative.

What would a computer that 'speaks' Chinese need specifically to be able to do in order to be conscious?  If we get to the point where it does appear that we are eventually headed where we won't be able to determine if a computer is talking to us or a human, what else does the computer need?  This is a tough one for me as I'm not convinced that everything we do and feel isn't essentially deterministic algorithms executing in our brains.  If you're familiar with Star Trek, is Commander Data conscious?  What more does he need in order to have that?

I just heard a talk on the radio about consciousness and there was a lot of the usual, and philosophically legitimate, discussions that essentially take consciousness as a different 'thing' a little for granted.  The only thing I happened to hear that supported this is the suggestion that they can somehow imagine a scenario where we were exactly the way we are but actually had no consciousness, making consciousness something unexpected.  I don't know what this is based on, I have no clue what a being who can think and feel at our level would 'experience' without a consciousness.

Share this comment


Link to comment

The best arguement is the ORCH OR theory. The only complete working theory of consciousness, a link between mind and quantum physics. Some physicists suspect quantum mechanics might actually arise due to consciousness. Even Stuart Hammeroff indicates that it appears our consciousness is rooted outside of our brains and outside of science. at least for now. 

Quote

 

"The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in "microtubules" inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to Dr. Hameroff and Dr. Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological and cognitive conditions.

 

 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now