What else do you suggest? What evidence (apart from your assertion that it's necessary for life) do you have for its existence?
I suggest that life is an irreducible phenomenon, for which the possibility
exists in certain organic molecules a priori.The potential for life has always existed under the proper conditions. Life itself did not need to 'evolve', but rather the conditions for it's evolution had to be present.
Evidence? I just have logic that says you can only make life out of very specific ingredients so that randomly we should observe life showing up elsewhere in the universe. Galaxies. Buckets of nails. If it's random, why just organic molecules turn into cells?
Life self-evidently exists. We've drawn the Ace of Mirrored Kaleidoscopes from the deck and placed it face up on the table in front of us. How can you say the AoMK was not "in the cards?"
That's what I'm saying. All the draws from all decks in the world won't help you pull the AoMK unless it's already in one of the decks to begin with
There is a great deal of evidence that life and consciousness are matter/energy phenomena, and no credible evidence (that I know of) that "spirit" or "pixie dust" or some other non-energy energy or non-material stuff is either necessary or present.
Life and consciousness is
a matter/energy phenomenon. From the exterior. From the interior, as we ourselves are evidence, it's a meaning/feeling phenomenon. They are the same coin. Two different sides.
To test the claim that your consciousness is a neuro-chemical phenomenon, you can simply sit down with a bottle of Scotch--a perfectly mundane chemical fluid--and start drinking. I am quite confident that sooner rather than later your consciousness will be rather profoundly affected. How is this possible if consciousness is something other than matter/energy?
Most definitely. (see above). If consciousness was ONLY matter/energy then scotch wouldn't exist because there's no nutritional point in consuming the distilled fluids of spoiled grains if it didn't cause you to feel
I don't get this. "Only because we can sit here and reverse engineer the actuality of an automobile engine being realized can we imagine that such a thing is the result of groupings of inert parts." Do you think there must be some metaphysical essence of engine-ness in order to make it possible for a collection of chunks of metal, rubber, and plastic to turn gasoline into kinetic energy?
I might if I myself was an engine and was contemplating my origins.
I'm not really sure what you're getting at here. Sure, sub-atomic particles have certain properties that give them the potential to be organized into an incredibly complex entity called "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." Are you saying that such a thing is only possible if every particle has some "inherent property of Mozart-ness" within it?
The particle doesn't have to make Mozart, it just has to make organic molecules. The organic molecules have to be able to make cells, the cells have to precipitate organisms, organisms to animals, mammals, primates, homo sapiens, homo sapiens with exceptional atypical neurologies. Mozart is an interior phenomenon, at this point, a celebrity-archetype in our Western European historical schema, but in his life, we presume, he was a sentient being who inhabited/sourced from an exceptional brain and whose identity intersected with the zeitgeist in a particularly memorable and effective way.
Mozart's identical twin today might be working at WalMart and may never have the opportunities that Mozart had. Different times, different conditions.
I'm not sure of the precise boundaries of your disagreement with "materialism" here. Are you suggesting something like this? The link goes to a proposed model I wrote in another thread arguing for a "consciousness all the way down/all the way up" way of looking at Universe that could lead to a concept of "God" without supernaturalism.
I think it's still an objective model of consciousness which leaves out the most important parts. Feeling, seeing, thinking, valuing. I like the part about "The electron could be viewed as having an extremely low level of consciousness." and that's precisely what I'm saying although it's pretty hard to speculate on the interiority of an electron, however the visible spectrum seems like it could be fairly isomorphic to that. It's beauty and order on the inside, whizzing particle/wave thing on the outside. I'm in agreement that supernaturalism is unnecessary but I see consciousness as infra/ultra to material.
Analogy: If you pour ping pong balls over an open, empty egg carton, ping pong balls will eventually nest in the pits in the carton. Even though the motion of the ping pong balls is basically random, the result is a non-random array of 12 ping pong balls arranged 6 x 2. It's the shape of the egg carton that provides a non-random arrangement of ping pong balls within it. Likewise, it's the conditions of a given environment that create niches for some creatures, and drive others to extinction.
That's a great analogy. If taken back to the dawn of life though, it supports my point of the need for a priori egg cartons for self-replication, organization, and sentience.