This is a blog to discuss philosophy, chess, politics,
C. S. Lewis, or whatever it is that I'm in the mood to discuss.
"This is the typical answer to any argument from reason. ..."Furthermore, as Alvin Plantinga points out (as do even some 'atheists'), on the "natural selection did it" metaphysic, beliefs don't have to be true to contribute to 'differential reproductive success'; they could even be completely false.Meanwhile, on that metaphysic, one has no way ever to *know* that one's beliefs are true or false.
Ahab makes a great point, one that appeal to intuitions about the possibilities of zombies doesn't obviate.
I can see your point, BDK: it's always a "great point" to assert a proposition which not only cannot be supported by one's metaphysical commitments, but is contrary to them.
Ilion let's see your argument against Ahab's claim (the one about systems/mechanisms of belief formation rather than individual beliefs).I have responded differently to such arguments, for instance here and here, and here and here. Especially important is the established fact of the reliability of or sensory systems, and how it isn't hard at all to imagine how that would evolve. I pull on this thread here. If you make substantive responses to any of those, I will reply. Otherwise, I'll eat popcorn and just enjoy the Ilion show.JD Walters was a great interlocutor, too bad he doesn't post here any more.
BDK,Two of your five links point to the current thread!?!Steve
I think I might agree with the anonymous commentator, but I'd like him to try to do what he says can't be done in a comment here.I must admit to never having read much in the Philosophy of Mind. I have no idea what Chalmers' argument is, and even after long interactions with Hasker on Zombies, I was left thoroughly unconvinced that they pose any threat to Naturalism.In short, while anonymous may be right, his response is mostly handwaving. At the intuitive level Ahab's points seem to need addressing. Anonymous is not addressing them, he's just saying that it's complicated and Ahab is assuming too much.But isn't the burden of proof on the defender of AfR? In which case unless Chalmers and the Zombies are conclusive, I think the defender of the AfR still owes Ahab a further response ... and if Chalmers and Zombies are indeed conclusive, we should at least point out where those arguments can be found and preferably give a brief sketch of them here.Not saying the AfR is wrong, just that this is all a bit quick and easy for my liking.Steve
Steve thanks. Third link was supposed to be this one. Fourth I simply forgot to delete.:)
Steve I'll bite.Zombies are logically possible, therefore there could exist molecular/chemical/behavioral duplicates that do not have conscious experiences (by definition of zombies) Therefore, conscious experiences are not causally efficacious.I see this epiphenomenalist consequence of the zombie argument as a damnation of the whole zombic enterprise. That's why I never bothered to respond to original post. Poster pulls out a weakness of an antinaturalist view, incorporates it into a response to something it isn't clear it is relevant for (original argument is about intentional content while this is about conscious content), and advertise this as a serious objection to the opponent. Where to begin? Victor you must have seen all this are you just messing with us?It's like me opening a salvo against Christian moral realists with: "Well you are assuming a whole lot of things, lots of metaphysics there. For instance, you are assuming it is wrong to torture infants, and much recent work by people like Mackie has suggested that this is at least questionable."You'd high five each other.
Just re-read my comment, and smiled at "Chalmers and the Zombies". They should co-write a paper, or form a band or something.BDK and all,I'm with you. I think the key issue is intentional content, so Chalmers argument is more important than anything about zombies here.Personally, I'm not even convinced that the naturalist should admit that zombies are possible. Surely the naturalist thinks that the same properties of matter that explain their "non-mental" behaviour also explain (though we don't know how) the appearance of consciousness from the configurations of matter we find in human brains. If that is the case, then we don't really seem justified just saying we can take mental away and leave the material unchanged.You might as well say, "imagine there's no God, and leave everything else unchanged. There it's possible. That proves that God isn't causally active in nature."The question is whether you can take away the mental and leave everything else unchanged.Anyway, regardless of the status of my musings here (I already admitted to being a relative novice in the area), I'm still more interested to hear about the Chalmers stuff.Steve
I'm not even convinced that the naturalist should admit that zombies are possible. Exactly.
"If that is the case, then we don't really seem justified just saying we can take mental away and leave the material unchanged."Thank you for pointing this out. I've never understood the supposed power of this argument against naturalism, since, under naturalism, any putative 'exact' duplicate *must* have consciousness by definition. If that isn't the case, I'd like to know why.
On the other hand -- though one knows better than to ever expect more than a token number of 'atheists' to admit it -- if naturalism were the truth about the nature of reality, then zombies is all there ever could be.That truth is what the AfR is about.
"It requires the "naive" view of mental causation, the idea that the content of our thoughts directly influence behavior."Isn't this the view of free will advocates?
Barely relevant, but new--gainst the Afterlife: The Argument from the Neural Localization of Mental Functions. I have not read it, so am not endorsing the arguments therein, but I do like some of Gualtiero's other work and think some people here might be interested.
Can't recommend that paper, having just read it. Average reader here would tear it apart fairly easily.
Chris: "Isn't this the view of free will advocates?"Do you not understand that when the truth of your conclusion requires that the thing your conclusion denies be true, your conclusion is probably false (the other possibility being that your reasoning is erroneous)?
Don't take it too hard, BDK. The fact that there are no good arguments for atheism -- the fact that it is logically impossible for there to be any good arguments for atheism (*) -- almost implies that there are no good atheistical arguments against the subsidiary things/concepts atheism denies.(*) the only interesting thing about any argument for atheism is to discover how cleverly its author has hidden its self-contradiction(s).
BDK: "Ilion let's see your argument against Ahab's claim (the one about systems/mechanisms of belief formation rather than individual beliefs). ..."I hadn't noticed this pointless little taunt until now.Silly, willfully self-deluded boy: I done done it. I "discovered" Mr Reppert (and his blog) precisely because I thought it highly unlikely that I was the first person in the world to realize (*) that the logical entailments of atheism -- among which are that it is impossible for us to reason -- prove that atheism is false. BDK: "If you make substantive responses to any of those, I will reply. ..."Oh! There is no need to say obvious falsehoods: we both know you'll do nothing of the sort -- else you'd already have given over your 'atheism'; else you'd not respond to my reference to the logically established non-reliability of reason-as-a-natural phenomena (**) by saying, in effect, "Oh yeah! Sez who?!"(*) unlike VR's AfR, my version of the argument is not tentative, nor probabalistic, and certainly not defferential to the sensibilites of 'atheists.'(**) where "natural" in understood as though 'naturalism' were the truth about the nature of reality)
else you'd not respond to my reference to the logically established non-reliability of reason-as-a-natural phenomena That's the point in question. To refer to X is not to argue for X.
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