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Everything posted by MisterSwig

  1. There is something here that does not match my view of time. Yes, things of the past and things of the future do not exist. There is only what is happening now. In a sense, past things caused things now, through a chain of actions. But we cannot likewise claim a causal relationship between things now and things in the future, because the future hasn't happened; there is no effect that has been caused. The future is only a present idea in someone's head. If anything, the effect is the present idea, which would make the cause past choices.
  2. If everything moved together, collisions could not occur and momentum could not transfer. Also, we would have to assume that everything has been moving together throughout all of history, otherwise how did everything initially start moving? Swapping places is interesting, but doesn't it imply permeability, which implies space? What would "physical" mean in this view? To me, physical refers to the body of matter, whereas material refers to the substance of matter. Physical focuses on the thing as a whole; material focuses on the thing as a composition.
  3. I'm still considering your substantial replies, but I'll try to address a few points. This seems right. I'm using "medium" analogously. Basically, I'm struck by how physical media can be measured from high density to low density (solids, liquids, and gases). Then there is a perfect vacuum of space, which has zero density. Of course it's not a perfect vacuum anymore once material enters the space, and it's not a medium if nothing is in it. So, yeah, I have to think about that some more. If space is an immaterial, boundless existent, maybe we can only be aware of it indirectly through its dimensional relationships with matter. Also, when I say that an object is in space, I don't mean to differentiate it with the impossibility of being outside space. I intend to contrast it with being in matter, such as a physical medium of solid, liquid, or gas. I'm describing an environmental condition, not a spatial relationship. It's confusing, though, since I'm envisioning concurrent environmental conditions, where physical media exist simultaneously with and in space. Does that make sense? I should've said cubic foot instead of square foot, since we don't live in only two dimensions. I don't think space is stuff. Certainly not material stuff. To me, "stuff" suggests individual things. I don't mean a quantity of space things. A cubic foot of space would be a particular region of space. The region would have a spatial relationship to other regions or objects. I see the problem of spatial regions being relative to the position of material objects. But is that because space is a relationship, or because we can only know space through its relationships? Does calling it an environment help? I imagine that your two particles would act differently in a physical medium versus a perfect vacuum. They would be affected by other particles in a physical medium, but not in the vacuum. Distance is not the only external factor involved in the particles' interaction. Whether there is environmental resistance or other forces acting on them matters.
  4. It also chimes with MisterSwig’s insistence that “…space is not material”. We appear to be getting closer together in our concepts of space. But I still struggle with the notion of space as a sort of matterless medium for matter. I agree that no entity is outside of space, i.e., material objects must be in space. Any physical thing takes up and moves through space. But does this mean that space must have matter, or things, in it? I question whether space is a real relationship. Distance, yes. But space seems like something more fundamental. How is a square foot of space relational? There is the square foot of space that relates to my position in my room in California on the planet Earth as it spins and orbits the Sun. Then there is the square foot of space that I just passed through while riding the Earth through the galaxy. Isn't the former idea mistaking airspace for space-space? Is the space through which entire celestial bodies and clusters move also relational in nature? I consider the hypothetical of matter filling all of space. If that were the case, how could anything move? Wouldn't motion be impossible if reality were a solid mass of material particles? Doesn't existence necessarily require a nonmaterial medium for the movement of material stuff?
  5. My understanding is that physical scientists can detect no structure to space. This fits with my perception, and my logic, which suggests that space is not material. It is that which matter occupies. Many physical scientists don't like this concept of space, because it flies in the face of materialist theories like the Big Bang. But it's actually the only concept that fits with all the known facts.
  6. Intent matters. If the purpose of possession is to study criminal or abnormal behavior, it might not be immoral to have child rape videos. Though you might need government permission to own legal copies. The way you have framed the issue makes child rape no different morally than adult rape. So, why focus on rape of children? Why not address generic rape videos? I think it's misconceptualizing to call such videos "pornography," which etymologically comes from material about prostitutes. Rape victims are not prostitutes. So, before exploring some ethical/legal question, I would sort out the conceptual issue first.
  7. I don't see how. Binswanger addressed this view starting on page 45 of How We Know. Do you disagree with his position that computers don't literally process information?
  8. I'm holding off on another full-blown exploration of mental existence until I'm done thinking about some related topics which might appear in a future essay. For now I'll stick with Rand on the subject (ITOE, p. 249). Elsewhere she named concepts, thoughts, emotions, and memories as "phenomena of consciousness." (p. 154) I would also include dreams and hallucinations. What do these mental things consist of? They consist of themselves. They are mental phenomena. They don't have physical components. An idea has existence and content. A particular idea has its particular existence and particular content. Beyond that, I'm not yet prepared to speculate.
  9. That's a little bit of a loaded term I see it as redundant. Matter is physical. How so? Are you not reducing the mind to matter? No. I'm suggesting that other existents exist. Nonphysical. Not supernatural. Not matter. No. It's a part of a natural system. It's an organ. Remove it from a human being, and it won't be a system. It'll be a deteriorating organ.
  10. Then I don't understand what you meant by this... Is the mind not a fundamental ontological component of a human being? How are you using "ontological"? Are you saying that the mind can be reduced to something physical? The "consciousness is reducible" proponents seem to be equating consciousness with brain processes, and then brain processes with the brain, and then the brain with physical matter. Is that your position?
  11. If the "something" is a human being, then his consciousness is not an aspect of "something physical," it's an aspect of a human being, which is a physical-mental systematic whole. If a human being is defined as a physical entity, then we simply disagree at the definitional level.
  12. I would classify "brain" as a part of an entity (human being), and "consciousness" as an attribute of the human entity. The brain-consciousness relationship is less clear to me. I believe there are more parts involved in causing consciousness than merely the brain, yet the brain is necessary. I therefore tend to subclassify "consciousness" (its action and content) as a product of the brain's reaction to stimuli. Apart from my own introspection, I only have physical analogies to offer as examples. Consider how your skin color is one of your main attributes, but it's also a product of your skin's reaction to stimuli. Would you say that your skin and its color are one and the same thing? They are inseparable, yet distinctive in nature. Yes. A consciousness is not a brain. Though we would need to agree on a definition for "entity." Consciousness is not a physical entity. Yes. Again, a consciousness is not a brain. Would it help to make a distinction between a functioning and a non-functioning brain? In order to function properly, a brain needs other things, such as sensory nervous signals and oxygenated blood. So what do you mean by a "brain" entity? It's part of a whole organic system. The brain, itself, would do nothing except deteriorate. Likewise, consciousness would do nothing by itself except fade out of existence. Yet both are things. Both are something in relation to the whole person. I'd say a non-physical entity that is not sustained by a physical system.
  13. No, I'm talking about consciousness.
  14. I agree with Binswanger when he argues that "Mental actions are manifestly different from brain actions." Our awareness of a dream, for example, is not the same thing as the brain processes attending (or causing) that experience. I'm pretty sure I disagree with his take on the causal efficacy of consciousness, but that objection is still in development. I don't know what you mean by "disembodied action," which is why I asked for an example relating to mental action. To me "embody" and "disembody" assume a thing which can exist apart from the body. I don't think the concept is valid for mental action. You can't take dreaming, for example, and separate it from the human being who dreams. Nor do I think a body alone can dream. A human is not merely his body, unless you're a materialist, which I'm not.
  15. Can you frame your example in terms of mental action, such as remembering, imagining, thinking, or dreaming? The first problem I see is that an outside observer cannot experience your mental action.
  16. Can you link to the research you're referencing? Thanks.
  17. I'm not clear on what you mean by "material connection." Is that something like a physical link between the mind and the body (or brain)? Also, "all action must be embodied" sounds unnecessary or imprecise to me. I believe that any action must be consistent with (not contradict) the nature of the thing that is acting. It seems reasonable to say that the mind is caused by the human organism responding to stimuli. That response, however, includes our power to will voluntary mental actions. Whether those mental actions, in turn, affect the brain, I'm not sure. I tend to think that it is the will that affects the brain in coordination with the mind, the will being our power to control aspects of the self.
  18. Of action and content. The mind identifies things. You can't separate its content from its state. Yes. Every thing has identity. Otherwise it wouldn't be a thing, and we couldn't talk about it. There is nothing about identity that demands a thing be material in nature. It simply must exist for us to be aware of it.
  19. Sure. I mean, to whatever degree they flourish, it isn't due to their self-destructive, irrational members. Perhaps because it's associated with sacrificing individuals and minority groups to the nation.
  20. Consciousness is mental in nature; matter is physical. This doesn't mean they can be separated. The existence of consciousness is dependent on matter.
  21. I'm not satisfied with the analogy to ocean waves, whose motion is caused by an external force. Whereas the motion of dipole waves seems to be caused by an internal force. Also ocean waves move through a medium of water. Do dipole waves move through a medium? Isn't the idea of motion dependent on the idea of a medium (water, air, space)? To have movement, there must be something in which that movement occurs. Otherwise, how do you distinguish movement from stillness? You have to be able to identify a change in position relative to the medium. Are dipole waves both their own medium and cause of motion?
  22. I take for granted that there were no Israelites leaving Egypt to conquer the promised land. The fact remains that historians and archaeologists can't prove that any of it happened, and tend to believe that the Israelites were a small off-shoot of the Canaanites who built some villages in the hills and never engaged in epic battles or nation-building. But if we're going to use the Bible as some sort of historical document, then we can't argue for the nature and purpose of the Israelite nation without including God's plan. It's central to the story. Without God there is no nature or purpose to that nation.
  23. Thanks, that's helpful. I guess it's different than the stolen concept fallacy. But maybe they are related. Rand identified the problem of denying a concept's prerequisite concepts, while Veatch appears to have identified the problem of denying a concept's actual referents. Maybe these are two steps in destroying a concept.
  24. For the AI rights members of the forum, I have a question. Why is it assumed that AI rights would be based on human rights? First, AIs are not human. And, second, our present conception of rights is an abstraction from the nature of man. Shouldn't any concept of AI rights be abstracted from the nature of AIs?
  25. This is definitely not what the Israelites believed. God/Moses led them out of Egypt to go conquer, systematically, the nations that already inhabited the promised land. They were the outside interference, not the free nation. Not that there were any free nations back then, but the Israelites might have been the least free of them all. Several times they tried to complain about Moses' bloodthirsty warmongering, but he slaughtered his own people for bitching and sleeping around with foreign whores. He was the Hitler of the Old Testament. He genocided other nations and took virgins for war spoils. The idea that the borders of the promised land represented some nationalist dream is ridiculous. This was God/Moses planning a "holy nation" for the priest class that would serve as the chosen rulers of the entire Earth, which Moses saw as God's rightful domain. If other nations hadn't stopped the Israelites, I'm sure they would have continued with the conquering and raping of virgins to fill their expansionist needs, just like other nations tried to do.
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