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Michael M
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Michael M

Discussion  - 
 
Best philosophy of mind for atheists?

Most atheists are physicalists. I hate physicalism.

What do you think is the best philosophy of mind for atheists? I think it's neutral monism.

That means, mind isn't reducible to matter, and matter isn't reducible to mind. Both mind and matter are reducible to a third substance, a neutral substance, which is neither physical or mental. It's something in between.

I think Nagel and Searle are neutral monists if Im correct... I always thought Searle was a property dualist but then I read a paper where he bashed property dualism, lol.

But property dualism is also okay for atheists.
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Sebastian Nozzi's profile photoMark Baldwin's profile photo
63 comments
 
+Sebastian Nozzi Yes, metaphysical naturalism is more widely encompassing view of the world which denies the existence of supernatural deities, this is philosophy of science. Physicalism is only concerned with the mind as non-physical, it's philosophy of mind, God is exempt, it's not the concern of philosophy of mind to determine the existence of God, physicalism is defined in such a way so that it doesn't matter if God exists or not.
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
Just started a debate on the existence of God via idealism. 

http://www.debate.org/debates/God-most-likely-exists/1/
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Christopher Johnson's profile photoMichael M's profile photoRodney Mulraney's profile photo
26 comments
 
Interesting debate so far. Of course Con lost with his first paragraph. Since he is under the mistaken impression he only has to show your argument is unsound. If he could do that, it would be undecided, so he is aiming for the draw. But since the only way to show your argument is actually unsound is to have a formal proof for the falsity of your premise, and he has not got that, he lost at the outset.
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
Philosopher surveys on big issues
I don't know if you guys are aware of this, but this is pretty cool... It's neat to look at the different areas of study, and see what the results are.

http://philpapers.org/surveys/results.pl?affil=Target+faculty&areas0=0&areas_max=1&grain=coarse
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
The most intelligent atheist I know just became an idealist, and suddenly believes the mind is immaterial, and has converted to a sort of theism (pan-en-theism to be exact.)

George Berkeley: Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous

He sent me this video. He also is an idealist because it solves the interaction problem.

I dunno... it's really interesting, and makes some sense... but it seems kindof far out there. Thoughts?
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William David Hilton's profile photoSal C's profile photo
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Sal C
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I like the video and kind of live my life this way. I feel we are all kind of trapped in this 3-D world but it really only exists I'm our mind. It's kind of confusing. I am aware of God just as strong as the way we think, feel, and use our 5 senses. So to deny God I would have to deny these other ways of knowing. I love what Eckhart Tolle says- the only absolute truth is where we all came from, a loving life source or God and everything emanates from that.
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
Does mathematics point to the intellect of God?

So I've been thinking alot lately about numbers and their existential status.

It seems that numbers exist independently of our minds, and that we discover them. In other words, they exist objectively. But don't numbers exist as concepts in an intellect? I mean there's no physical object of "2." 

So could we conclude that since numbers, or mathematics in general, are objectively true, and exist as concepts in a mind, that since they are necessary things, they exist in a necessary mind?
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David S. Barkley's profile photoWilliam David Hilton's profile photo
21 comments
 
You have the Missouri "Show Me" attitude. That's good. I'd love to hear Meidy's stories. I'm fascinated by northern European folklore especially, and wonder about the historical sources of the fanciful legends of the Merlín-types. I think Shakespeare got it right when he said, through one of his characters, "There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of even by that other William," or something like that.
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
Argument for the mind from continuity of identity despite change

Hey guys! I heard this really really interesting argument just recently on the debate website I'm on. It got me thinking, and it seems pretty strong. Let me know what you think.

"1. If all we are is the sum of our physical parts, then we do not maintain personal identity through physical change.
2. We do maintain personal identity through physical change.
3. Therefore, we are not merely the sum of our physical parts.

Suppose there is a wooden ship, and we replace each piece of wood on the ship one at a time until there are no original pieces of wood left, and the entire ship is made of new wood. If that happened, then you would no longer have the original ship. It would be a completely different ship.

If you are not persuaded, let's press the analogy further. Let's say that we gather together the original wood that used to be part of the ship, and we assemble it into a ship that has all of the properties of the original ship before you started replacing parts. Now you've got two ships--one made entirely of new parts, and one made of all the original parts. Surely if either of these ships stand a chance of being the original, it's the one with the original parts.

If you are still not persuaded, let's tweak the thought experiment a little. Instead of replacing each piece of wood with another piece of wood, let's say we replace each piece of wood with cardboard. In the end, we'd have a ship made entirely of cardboard. By now, you should be able to see that if you replace all the parts on the ship, then you no longer have the original ship.

So it is with people. We are in a constant state of change, and within 10 to 15 years, we have a mostly new body.[1] If we were identical with our bodies (i.e. if we are our bodies), then none of us have been around for longer than 10 or 15 years. You yourself never were a baby. Even some of the memories you have were not your own. Rather, you inherited them from somebody else who had those experiences but has passed out of existence.

But to deny that we ourselves have continued to exist in spite of our physical changes is absurd, and many counter-intuitive results follow from it. It would follow that nobody should be convicted of a crime that happened more than 15 years earlier. It would follow that you were never born and that you have no parents. It would follow that your memories are not your own. It would follow that within another 15 years, you could cease to exist without dying.

Since we do maintain personal identity through physical change, it follows that we are not identical with our bodies. We are immaterial, and we animate different bodies throughout our lives." [2]

The argument is a valid modus tollens syllogism, so if the premises are true, the conclusion follows necessarily. The first premise seems to be obviously true, and I doubt anyone would want to deny the second premise. I suppose that's probably what people would do nowadays.. Although it kindof goes to show how contra common sense the materlialist position really is.

[1] [1] "Your Amazing Regenerating Body" by Gaia Vince http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19025561.900-your-amazing-regenerating-body.html "Cells That Last a Lifetime" by April Holladay http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/aprilholladay/2007-03-30-cell-lifetime_N.htm
[2] Site:debate.org, User:philochristos, URL: http://www.debate.org/debates/That-the-mind-is-a-purely-physical-substance./1/
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Sebastian Nozzi's profile photoMichael M's profile photoDaniel Issacson's profile photo
52 comments
 
+Michael M _Wouldn't there have to be something physical that remains the same?_ No, I don't think so. If this analog holds, than it is it possible for a biological system.
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Michael M

Discussion  - 
 
Why do you believe in physical matter?

Okay... so I know this is going to sound crazy, but I'd like to ask everyone this simple question. Why believe in physical matter?

First, we need to define what we're talking about. So what is physical matter, if it exists?

Let's put it this way. When I think of fphysical matter, I think of stuff. I can feel it, smell it, cut it with a chainsaw, etc. etc.

However, everything I have described above is a sensation. A sensation of something else. If I have a sensation of something else, it's obviously not the thing itself. Since the thing itself, is not a sensation of something... it's the thing itself!

However, this puts a problem before us... then what is physical matter?

Philosophers would respond that there are primary and secondary qualities. Secondary qualities are things like the smell, taste, feel, etc. However, the primary qualities, which physical matter has in itself, are extension (as in, extension in space) and shape.

But wait a minute... how do we know extension? If I tell you to think of a square, you absolutely must somehow use your sensations of colors to picture it. There has to be a black square, contrasted to a white background.

In other words, the  so called "primary qualities" are nothing else other than "secondary qualities" in a different form. But then what properties does physical matter have?

And if physical matter is completely unknowable to us, why believe in it?

So to everyone out there....

1. What is physical matter?
2. Why do you believe it exists?
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Michael M's profile photoDavid Brown's profile photoPeter Jones's profile photo
49 comments
 
I don't believe it exists except as a practical default that seems suited to being alive.
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Michael M

Discussion  - 
 
+Angela Martin +David Behrens 

I'm challenging Angela Martin or David Behrens to debate me on the topic.

"Abortion is generally immoral"

I think we sortof derailed +Kent Burt 's other post, so I decided to make a new one.

I hope one of them accepts, because I'd love to have a rational discussion on this topic.

http://www.debate.org/debates/Abortion-is-generally-immoral/7/
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Kent Burt's profile photoMichael M's profile photo
46 comments
 
+Kent Burt I mean is it a sort of behavior which all humans are obliged to not partake in, regardless of their wants or desires? 
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
Modal Transcendental Argument

I just wrote up a modalized version of the TAG. Thought you guys might like to see it. I appreciate any feedback.

1. □(LA ---> M)
2. □LA ---> □M
3. □LA
C: .'., □M

LA = logical axioms exist
M = a mind exists
□ = it is necessary that

Premise 2 follows from modal modus ponens. Premise 3 is also obviously true. Lol. I mean, everyone accepts that logical axioms are necessary things.

The only premise which would be controversial is the first, and even this seems easily defensible, due to the obviously mental nature of logical axioms.

It is necessary that: IF logical axioms exist, THEN a mind exists.

It's also obvious that this mind can't be a human mind, since if it's necessary, then it's not possible for it to not exist. But human minds are obviously possible to not exist, so it cannot be a human mind.

Thoughts?
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Sebastian Nozzi's profile photoMichael M's profile photoWilliam David Hilton's profile photoChristopher Johnson's profile photo
6 comments
 
This Modal TAG Argument is very interesting, especially in light of idealism. This together with the IA are very powerful. Also, if logical laws are mental substances at all, then materialism, we have a problem.
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
This is a great description of the ontological argument in modal terms, and just a good introduction to modal logic in general.

I'm still working up to my goal of understanding Godel's ontological proof, but this is very helpful! :D

http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/tisthammerw/rlgnphil/ontological.html
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Michael M
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Training Ground  - 
 
Just started a debate about the immateriality of the mind. Thought you guys might find it interesting.

http://www.debate.org/debates/The-mind-is-probably-not-entirely-physical/1/
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Michael M's profile photoWilliam David Hilton's profile photoSebastian Nozzi's profile photo
24 comments
 
+Michael M D'oh!! :-D
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Michael M
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Philosophy  - 
 
What's your opinions on Alvin Plantinga's modal ontological argument? Or the ontological arguments in general?
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Sebastian Nozzi's profile photoMichael M's profile photoWilliam David Hilton's profile photo
29 comments
 
+Michael M I'm suggesting that a maximal being (perhaps plural, but more likely singular) is the creator of our universe, but that this being is anthropic. I question whether it is necessary for the creator to be physically present in his (or her?) creation, but is at home in the universe to which he is original. This is not the same idea as the multiverse schema of superstring and quantum theory, but concerns a transcendent reality in contrast to a universal reality. Now, this little philosophy will convince whomever it will convince. It's very much a work in progress.
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