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Graybeard

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The problem that Descartes had, and I pointed this out earlier, was that to have a conciousness, you have to have an organ that will recognise that consciousness. The organ has to be physical. If it is physical, it occupies space and time.

We call it our "brain" and it must be a part of reality. For a brain to exist, there must be a supply of energy from somewhere.

Gb,

It sounds like you are simply assuming a physical paradigm ie 'you have to have an organ to recognise consciousness and it must be physical'.
Yes, I am assuming a physical paradigm but "simply" is not an appropriate adverb, and you know it. You make it sound as if there might be some lack of though on the 99.999% of the world who would dismiss anything other than a physical paradigm. More to the point, I am doing that because anything else is ludicrous - as someone else said, "your idea is so bad it isn't even wrong." You have copied an idea that is basically unfalsifiable and therefore cannot be accepted... yet you think it is reasonable.

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The idea that perception can only occur through a physical organ is simply a dogma (assumption) within the physical paradigm.
That statement is without foundation - and you can provide nothing to support this new proposed addition to the sum of human experience. It is for you to show that this might be the case, and, you can't, thus I think we can dismiss it out of hand. We can do this as it is unfalsifiable. You would not accept that there is an invisible hippopotamus in my garden, why should anyone credit your interpretation of Descartes with any truth? I should not even be a talking point for the seriously minded.

All that your adopting of this philosophy does is to say that "We can do nothing, we are powerless, there can be no progress as everything might be different from the way we perceive it." The fact that there is progress seems prima facie evidence of your error.

There is no logical reason why we should not make an assumption that is entirely in accord with our world as we perceive it, and it would not matter in the slightest if were it wrong - it would still be true for all of us and all generations. So in basic terms, Descartes idea on this matter was trivial.

Next, you are suggesting that everything is (or may be) illusory, including our perceptions and the means of perceiving them. This does not accord with our knowledge of illusion; illusion is subjective and hence highly varied. You cannot answer why some illusions do vary, whilst others do not - at least you can't do it without inventing some more garbage.

You and I both know that Descartes discarded perception as unreliable but, and inexplicably, claimed that the only method was deduction, yet as Plato had decided many years before, how can we deduce anything reliably if the tools of deduction are based entirely on perception?

As a matter of honesty, you should state why Descartes, frustrated at the question he could not answer, eventually said words to the effect of, "You'll just have to accept it." and it wasn't because his audience was not perceptive...

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bertatberts Excellent post. January 06, 2013, 07:05:03 AM