Author Topic: Argument From Consciousness  (Read 821 times)

Argument From Consciousness
« on: December 02, 2018, 02:39:21 PM »
I've already expressed my views on this matter on my blog. Here are some relevant links...


There are a couple other relevant blog entries for further reading.

In brief, I argue for God. My definition of God is being with consciousness only, who created the universe. He doesn't have to be all-knowing, omnipresent, infallible, all-loving... There could be more than one and that's irrelevant.

There is no evolutionary advantage to the advent of consciousness, in fact, it may even be a disadvantage. Was there consciousness at the beginning of the universe? The atheist view is that there was not. If consciousness is an evolutionary advantage, in that it takes the intelligence of a sentient being to run the body of an organism when it reaches a certainty complexity, why was there no consciousness at the beginning of creation? Doesn't it take something special to create that kind of occurrence?

Administrator Comment Please read the rules. No external links before the appropriate membership duration.Sincerely -PickelledEggs
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 11:13:57 PM by PickelledEggs »

Offline Baruch

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 03:46:41 PM »
This is pretty much consistent with the Hindu/Buddhist view of religion.  Traditional Chinese/Japanese were pretty much naturalist or humanist (in a social way).  Individual "practice" was a viable spiritualism initially for Iron Age Indians, and later Iron Age Chinese.  Other ancient civilizations, in their native practices, emphasized the majority naturalism/humanism of the traditional polytheists.

From the time of Pythagoras at the earliest, and no late than the time of Alexander the Great, there was increasing contact between the Indians, and the West, including West Asia.  There was not only exposure to the binary religion of Zorostrianism, but there were colonies of Indian fakirs and shramanas (Hindu and Buddhist evangelical ascetics) as far West as Athens, Alexandria and Antioch.  From the time of Alexander the Great, for the next 300 years, there was a great intermingling of Greek/Persian/Indian culture N of Afghanistan all the way into N Pakistan.  What we now consider introspective psychology was introduced to the West at this time, and had a profound influence on dissident Jewish and Gentile cultures of the Near East.

In Yoga, and in Zen, the emphasis on  the introspective analysis of consciousness, has continued till this day.  The West inherited this practice, directly via monastic Christian practices and indirectly thru Jewish Kabbalah and Muslim Sufism.  Modern philosophy, which preceded modern psychology, started with the introspective insights of Descartes.  Modern (non-introspective) psychology only came about, first in the West, in the mid-19th century, so it is very new ... but materialistic.  Rejecting the dualism inherited from Descartes and his followers.

I hope this adds to your POV.  I am not intending a detail critique, or a detailed presentation of my own, psychological POV, vis a vis theology.  Other than to say, you are on the right track.  But I am not sure it is correct, though this is the POV of Yoga in particular, that only consciousness matters.  Zen is more skeptical of the focus on consciousness to the excluding of a greater unconscious mentality.
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2018, 05:09:12 PM »
This is a line I copied from one of your blogs: "In effect, atheists are trying to convince you that YOU don't matter."  I guess we hang around a different group of atheists.  First, atheists are not uniform in our thinking.  We are not from the 'atheistic church moving and thinking in lock-step'.  We are united in only one thing--we think god is not; there is no proof of any such thing.  So, clearly that comment of yours is false.  Personally, I feel quite grateful for my being and my life.  I cherish it all the more for knowing that I will not live thru it.  And I don't really care what you believe as long as you don't use those beliefs to try to make me follow them.  You can believe in all of the fake, false, fantasy creatures you want.  Just don't force me to live with those beliefs. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2018, 05:35:52 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
This is a line I copied from one of your blogs: "In effect, atheists are trying to convince you that YOU don't matter."  I guess we hang around a different group of atheists.  First, atheists are not uniform in our thinking.  We are not from the 'atheistic church moving and thinking in lock-step'.  We are united in only one thing--we think god is not; there is no proof of any such thing.  So, clearly that comment of yours is false.  Personally, I feel quite grateful for my being and my life.  I cherish it all the more for knowing that I will not live thru it.  And I don't really care what you believe as long as you don't use those beliefs to try to make me follow them.  You can believe in all of the fake, false, fantasy creatures you want.  Just don't force me to live with those beliefs.

There is a certain brand of atheists I was targeting, which are the type that don't believe in anything supernatural - whether that be life after death, God, the soul, sometimes free will but not necessarily. Sometimes people who believe in some paranormal stuff claim to be atheists, and I think if there is any aspect of the paranormal that is real you should naturally come to the conclusion that God exists, but some people haven't because they disagree with the concept of a Christian god.

The disbelief in God goes along with a string of reasoning including the belief that all consciousness comes from interactions with atoms/the physical world, in terms of the brain. I believe there is a such thing as a higher consciousness which exists without having to be supported by a physical structure.

Otherwise, there is a mysterious mass explosion that resulted in the formation of matter and such, all stuff without conscious awareness until animals come along.

Suddenly, we are presented with ideas like will, desire, and thought. Apparently, the big bang was a mass explosion that came without thought.

So from your viewpoint, you found meaning in some meaningless, which is life. Do you think life is meaningless? You said you cherish life. Is there any sort of external marker of meaning? Is there any inherent value of meaning, without God? Yes, there is pleasure and displeasure. Is that what you mean by cherishing life? You cherish the pleasure?

My question for you is, is the human experience meaningful in general? Is it being a person, being aware and getting to do stuff that i meaningful? Or is it the endorphins and neurotransmitters that create pleasant feelings that make it meaningful? If your life was filled with nothing but pain, is that a life that is meaningful?

When I say atheists are trying to convince you that you don't matter, it means that atoms and physical dots on a grid are more significant in terms of the universe, than the experience of consciousness.


Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 06:08:17 PM »
We only know about consciousness that is the product of the activity of brains. Are you saying that consciousness has some other way of becoming, one that doesn't need brains?
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 06:12:47 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
We only know about consciousness that is the product of the activity of brains. Are you saying that consciousness has some other way of becoming, one that doesn't need brains?

Yes. It is not possible to observe consciousness. There is no way of knowing where it exists or does not exist. Naturally, you assume fellow humans have consciousness. You can't prove it though.

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 06:41:18 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
There is a certain brand of atheists I was targeting, which are the type that don't believe in anything supernatural - whether that be life after death, God, the soul, sometimes free will but not necessarily. Sometimes people who believe in some paranormal stuff claim to be atheists, and I think if there is any aspect of the paranormal that is real you should naturally come to the conclusion that God exists, but some people haven't because they disagree with the concept of a Christian god.

The disbelief in God goes along with a string of reasoning including the belief that all consciousness comes from interactions with atoms/the physical world, in terms of the brain. I believe there is a such thing as a higher consciousness which exists without having to be supported by a physical structure.

Otherwise, there is a mysterious mass explosion that resulted in the formation of matter and such, all stuff without conscious awareness until animals come along.

Suddenly, we are presented with ideas like will, desire, and thought. Apparently, the big bang was a mass explosion that came without thought.

So from your viewpoint, you found meaning in some meaningless, which is life. Do you think life is meaningless? You said you cherish life. Is there any sort of external marker of meaning? Is there any inherent value of meaning, without God? Yes, there is pleasure and displeasure. Is that what you mean by cherishing life? You cherish the pleasure?

My question for you is, is the human experience meaningful in general? Is it being a person, being aware and getting to do stuff that i meaningful? Or is it the endorphins and neurotransmitters that create pleasant feelings that make it meaningful? If your life was filled with nothing but pain, is that a life that is meaningful?

When I say atheists are trying to convince you that you don't matter, it means that atoms and physical dots on a grid are more significant in terms of the universe, than the experience of consciousness.
There is a lot in there to unpack.  I'll try to give you a thumbnail sketch of what I think.  I think the universe just is.  We are not close at all to know, much less fully understand how it came to be.  One hypothesis is that it was created by the Big Bang.  What evidence do we have of that and how do I know the evidence is valid?  I must admit to not being a scientist nor physicist.  What little I understand seems to make this a plausible hypothesis (don't know if there is enough evidence for it to be a theory yet) possible.  At least there is some data.  God supplies us with no data; god could be possible, I guess, but from such a lack of evidence I think it is proof that god does not exist.

Also, the universe is totally and completely neutral--does not care (not capable of caring anyway) one way or the other about anything.  Does my life have meaning?  It does to me because I chose to attach meaning to it.  I have had to come to what that meaning is and what it means to me.  And my meaning is only meaning for me.  And I maintain that my morality is my own and is mainly derived from the society in which I grew up and live in.  And it is mine, not yours.  We all have to figure out what the meaning of life is and what moral rules one will follow.  As Joseph Campbell put it--the meaning of life is life.  I find I am alive and that is the meaning of my life--I'm alive.  What does it mean to be human?  I have no generalized thing a human must be or do.  It is all up to the individual to figure that out.  If my life ever becomes, for whatever reason, filled with unending or chronic pain I can find no good reason to continue and I should be able to end it.  But it should be my decision. 

My life was not conceived some entity for whatever reasons that entity had; it is a happenstance thing.  And when I die I will return to the basic building stuff of the universe.  I don't fear that nor have any problem with it. 

And I have never had an atheist try to convince me that I am not important or meaningless--but I've had many theists tell me that.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline Hijiri Byakuren

  • ULC Minister, Honorary Doctor of Divinity
  • Jacuzzi Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5382
  • Total likes: 2021
  • That's DOCTOR Hijiri, to you!
    • Sargon Lore
Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 06:43:17 PM »
Brand new user linking to their own website? Someone didn't read the rules.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2018, 06:53:37 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Yes. It is not possible to observe consciousness. There is no way of knowing where it exists or does not exist. Naturally, you assume fellow humans have consciousness. You can't prove it though.
No, I can't "prove" any such thing, but then I don't need to. I'm not here to teach, but to learn.
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Offline Baruch

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2018, 07:04:33 PM »
Birdy23 ... consciousness is a big conundrum.  Only people who think about thinking (which is not most of us) find it mysterious.  We mostly take it as axiomatic, that and that at least other humans, are at times, conscious.  I personally think that many higher animals are conscious ... at least in a way related to if not the same as humans.

The idea that mentality (if not consciousness) is non-local, is quite controversial.  But it is only avant-guard to people unaware of pre-modern thought.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Jordan Peterson, as a Jungian, would support at least, the last two.

Most but not atheists are materialists.  Once you assume materialism, you have to think of mentality as being local and neural ... though epiphenomenalist explanation leaves much to be desired from my POV.

Also per Eastern thought, the separation of supernatural from natural, is a Western affectation, a cultural artifact, of rather recent vintage.

« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 07:07:29 PM by Baruch »
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline _Xenu_

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2018, 07:12:40 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Brand new user linking to their own website? Someone didn't read the rules.
They're new and don't know any better. I'm going to let it slide.
Click this link once a day to feed shelter animals. Its free.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Online Shiranu

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2018, 07:16:37 PM »
Quote
So from your viewpoint, you found meaning in some meaningless, which is life. Do you think life is meaningless?

Everything is meaningless, and in being meaningless it thus has meaning.

This contradiction is rooted in the fact there is no such thing as "meaning"; it is just a concept we use to make sense of the abstract, because our brains are not very efficient at processing abstract ideas.

Meaning is a useful concept, but it's important to remember it is just that... a concept. It's like the past; it's useful to learn from but carries with it the potential of distracting us from the present.

Quote
My question for you is, is the human experience meaningful in general?

I would argue that meaning is irrelevant; meaninglessness or meaningfulness neither inherently influence experience.
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline Baruch

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2018, 07:17:27 PM »
Dogs demonstrating philosophical self-criticism ...

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Baruch

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2018, 07:19:11 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login
Everything is meaningless, and in being meaningless it thus has meaning.

This contradiction is rooted in the fact there is no such thing as "meaning"; it is just a concept we use to make sense of the abstract, because our brains are not very efficient at processing abstract ideas.

Meaning is a useful concept, but it's important to remember it is just that... a concept. It's like the past; it's useful to learn from but carries with it the potential of distracting us from the present.

I would argue that meaning is irrelevant; meaninglessness or meaningfulness neither inherently influence experience.

Just what I thought, with a shoutout to Mike CL ... both of your postings are random binary digits.  Also, with that fundamental contradiction .. X is not X ... you should turn in your "rationality" card too.

If you can accept a full contradiction as being real ... and catch arrows out of mid air flying toward you, you are probably ready to leave the monastery.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2018, 07:27:26 PM by Baruch »
πŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽŒπŽ€πŽπŽŽπŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€πŽŸπŽπŽœπŽœπŽŸπŽπŽ€πŽπŽ‰πŽ€πŽ€πŽšπŽ€
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Argument From Consciousness
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2018, 07:28:48 PM »
[quote author=Shiranu link=topic=13151.msg1238527#msg1238527 date=1543796197

This contradiction is rooted in the fact there is no such thing as "meaning"; it is just a concept we use to make sense of the abstract, because our brains are not very efficient at processing abstract ideas.

[/quote]

Compared to what? What is good at processing abstract ideas?

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk