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Old 06-29-2015, 03:59 PM   #61 (permalink)
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That's an interesting argument for a mechanism by which no event can occur twice, like two leaves can never be the same. And it may very well be true that if consciousness arises from cause and effect, that it may be impossible for the same consciousness to arise twice, by this type of mechanism.

Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything to unravel the argument I've been making. All it does is suggest that a contradiction is possible in nature, but there's a safeguard in place to prevent it from actually happening. It's like a loophole which has been made impossible to take advantage of. It's still there.

It's this loophole that undermines the logic of the theory that consciousness is some function of the brain, or some other physical process (inside or outside the body). The "consciousness as effect" notion has logical inconsistencies in it. You've given a pretty cool argument that the Universe can prevent any event that could bring those inconsistencies to light, but you haven't explained how they aren't, in fact, there. You haven't shown the contradiction to be only apparent, and not real.



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Old 06-29-2015, 04:05 PM   #62 (permalink)
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But how can the loophole be there if the laws governing the universe ensure that the loophole could never occur?

What I'm suggesting is not "that a contradiction is possible in nature...prevent it from actually happening", but 'a contradiction would be possible (and certainly isn't) if the laws of physics were not what they were'. For a loophole to be present, it must in some way be exploitable, but based on my suggestion, the only way to exploit it would be to break the laws of physics.


At that point, the only way I can see your theory holding up as an actual proof would require proving that it is possible to break the laws of physics.
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Old 06-29-2015, 04:11 PM   #63 (permalink)
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Bear in mind that my aim hasn't been to pose a working theory of how consciousness might come to be.

My interest has so far only been to invalidate your proof, and expose it underneath the best light as I can see, which through my own scrutiny, would be a theory.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:35 PM   #64 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir-Ex View Post
But how can the loophole be there if the laws governing the universe ensure that the loophole could never occur?

What I'm suggesting is not "that a contradiction is possible in nature...prevent it from actually happening", but 'a contradiction would be possible (and certainly isn't) if the laws of physics were not what they were'. For a loophole to be present, it must in some way be exploitable, but based on my suggestion, the only way to exploit it would be to break the laws of physics.


At that point, the only way I can see your theory holding up as an actual proof would require proving that it is possible to break the laws of physics.
Not sure what I can add. The idea that a finite set of causes cannot occur twice is no law of physics, so there's no law being broken. I've already made that point. I've also already pointed out the logical inconsistencies in the "consciousness as effect" theory.

I appreciate being drilled like this, as it makes me clearer on my own position, so I'm cool with you trying to find holes in my theory, but you haven't. Either way, tho, I think you're a pretty sharp guy and I enjoyed the intellectual sparring.



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Old 06-29-2015, 08:20 PM   #65 (permalink)
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I'm enjoying this too.


Besides your perceived contradiction in the event of two YOUs existing simultaneously, were there any other logical inconsistencies you pointed out? I can't seem to find them.
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Old 06-29-2015, 08:54 PM   #66 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post
The idea that a finite set of causes cannot occur twice is no law of physics, so there's no law being broken. I've already made that point.
Actually I think you missed what I meant, or I didn't express it well enough. The law of physics I was referring to in that last post was cause and effect, not event replication.


Let me reword what I said:

How can a loophole occur if we are supposing a universe governed by cause and effect?

*We are defining the 'loophole' as a situation where the state of the universe is somehow repeated to create the same consciousness more than once, such that two or more same consciousness exist simultaneously*

In the cause and effect model, we've identified that the cause (set of conditions) requires the given conscious to not exist, and the effect is the creation of the singular consciousness.


How then can the loophole occur without breaking the law of cause and effect?
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:19 AM   #67 (permalink)
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It can't. That's why consciousness cannot be an effect of causes.



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Old 06-30-2015, 07:15 AM   #68 (permalink)
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What?

I'm trying to have you agree that the loophole can't occur as a means of supporting the cause and effect model..

And you're agreeing that the loophole can't occur, and somehow that refutes the cause and effect model???


You need to have the loophole be a possibility in order for the cause and effect model to be invalidated. If the loophole can't possibly occur, then the contradiction you identified earlier can't possibly occur, because the loophole IS the contradiction, and the case of a possible contradiction is what you've been using to invalidate the cause and effect model...
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Old 06-30-2015, 05:57 PM   #69 (permalink)
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The cause and effect model comes with a loophole that allows a contradiction to occur. It therefore isn't a valid theory because contradictions are impossible in reality. That's the whole basis of my argument.

All you're telling me is that there may be a mechanism which prevents a replication of the causes of a given consciousness, so the loophole could never be exploited. It doesn't make the cause and effect model valid, however, because the logical inconsistencies that allow a contradiction to occur are still there.



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Old 06-30-2015, 06:24 PM   #70 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post
The cause and effect model comes with a loophole that allows a contradiction to occur. It therefore isn't a valid theory because contradictions are impossible in reality. That's the whole basis of my argument.

But you just admitted that the loophole cannot occur. If it cannot occur, then it is not part of the model, because a model is only as much as the outcomes it can produce. Any possible outcome you can imagine that can not also be predicted by the model is NOT PART of the model by definition.

If the model is an accurate description of reality, and because the model does not allow for your loophole, it is accordance with our mutual assertion that 'contradictions are impossible in reality'.
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Old 07-01-2015, 12:19 AM   #71 (permalink)
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I'm with ya bro. I stopped believing in death at some point in the last year or two. It's a myth as far as I'm concerned. At some point, it just makes way more sense that this is an experience of infinity and the idea of 'death' just sounds stupid.

Physically dying is just more life.
Agreed.
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Old 07-01-2015, 02:36 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Agreed what? What evidence do you have outside of dying terribly (or quickly if you're lucky) then being gone forever?

What makes anyone think there is an afterlife except that they hope there is one for them?
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Old 07-01-2015, 05:37 AM   #73 (permalink)
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But you just admitted that the loophole cannot occur. If it cannot occur, then it is not part of the model, because a model is only as much as the outcomes it can produce. Any possible outcome you can imagine that can not also be predicted by the model is NOT PART of the model by definition.

If the model is an accurate description of reality, and because the model does not allow for your loophole, it is accordance with our mutual assertion that 'contradictions are impossible in reality'.
The going theory is that causes produce an effect: consciousness. I point out that there is a logical contradiction in that theory (a loophole). This indicates that the theory cannot be valid, and that consciousness is not a product of causes. Therefore, another theory must be right; one in which cause and effect does not play a role.

Is that clearer?

All you're saying is that we can accept this faulty theory because the loophole could never be exploited (something you have not proven), and that is not correct. There can be no contradiction in any theory which accurately describes reality because there are no contradictions in reality, itself.



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Old 07-01-2015, 08:03 AM   #74 (permalink)
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I understand perfectly where you're coming from and I have from the beginning of this discussion, which is why it's a little frustrating that I seem unable to convey to you why exactly your approach is incorrect.


We're talking about a physical system (the universe, reality, whatever you'd like), and the scientific process of understanding a system is to build a theoretical model of that system, and to then attempt to verify its validity through means of experimentation.

We aren't concerned with validating the model in the scope of proving it to be absolute truth by means of any experimentation, we're at a preliminary step and concerned with asking the question, "Does this model contain the possibility for any logical contradictions?"

And the answer is, with the constraints I'm suggesting are part of the model, is NO.

(to be very clear, the model is the physical system governed by cause and effect)


You keep saying, there is a loophole, so the model is faulty, but again, there is no loophole because the model does not allow for such a thing to occur. The model IS the THEORY. The model only allows for certain possibilities, none of which cause a contradiction. The THEORY only allows for certain possibilities, none of which cause a contradiction. Therefore the model (theory) is not faulty.



I'm sure with enough imagination, we could imagine any number of potential contradictions in any model IF certain aspects of it were tweaked only slightly. But the model is what it is, and we can only suggest logical truths within the constraints OF THE MODEL.



Going back to your original 'proof' with bold on the crucial point:
" If YOUR consciousness came into existence as an outcome of causes and conditions (brain function, for example), then it could come into existence AGAIN in the same way, and that's where the contradiction arises."


This statement is 100% reliant on the model. If something (an event) could happen, it happens in accordance with the rules of the model. If the rules of the model do not allow for a certain event, it can't happen.

So your statement is baseless as it hinges on the possibility ("could ... AGAIN") of an event that is impossible in the cause and effect model I'm suggesting.

(again, "(something you have not proven)" -- it's not necessary for me to prove this, my only aim is to debase your idea as something less than a proof. My inability to prove the model is unimportant in that aim because you can not disprove the model, and you're trying to make a proof)
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Old 07-01-2015, 01:16 PM   #75 (permalink)
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What it boils down to IMO, is that nothing can be ruled out, nor declared true or proven.

We know so little about consciousness and death that it would be very silly to think you have such a substantial grasp on it.

Which is why i like thinking in terms of possibilities and probabilities when it comes to topics like this.
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Old 07-01-2015, 03:40 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir-Ex View Post
I understand perfectly where you're coming from and I have from the beginning of this discussion, which is why it's a little frustrating that I seem unable to convey to you why exactly your approach is incorrect.


We're talking about a physical system (the universe, reality, whatever you'd like), and the scientific process of understanding a system is to build a theoretical model of that system, and to then attempt to verify its validity through means of experimentation.

We aren't concerned with validating the model in the scope of proving it to be absolute truth by means of any experimentation, we're at a preliminary step and concerned with asking the question, "Does this model contain the possibility for any logical contradictions?"

And the answer is, with the constraints I'm suggesting are part of the model, is NO.

(to be very clear, the model is the physical system governed by cause and effect)


You keep saying, there is a loophole, so the model is faulty, but again, there is no loophole because the model does not allow for such a thing to occur. The model IS the THEORY. The model only allows for certain possibilities, none of which cause a contradiction. The THEORY only allows for certain possibilities, none of which cause a contradiction. Therefore the model (theory) is not faulty.



I'm sure with enough imagination, we could imagine any number of potential contradictions in any model IF certain aspects of it were tweaked only slightly. But the model is what it is, and we can only suggest logical truths within the constraints OF THE MODEL.



Going back to your original 'proof' with bold on the crucial point:
" If YOUR consciousness came into existence as an outcome of causes and conditions (brain function, for example), then it could come into existence AGAIN in the same way, and that's where the contradiction arises."


This statement is 100% reliant on the model. If something (an event) could happen, it happens in accordance with the rules of the model. If the rules of the model do not allow for a certain event, it can't happen.

So your statement is baseless as it hinges on the possibility ("could ... AGAIN") of an event that is impossible in the cause and effect model I'm suggesting.

(again, "(something you have not proven)" -- it's not necessary for me to prove this, my only aim is to debase your idea as something less than a proof. My inability to prove the model is unimportant in that aim because you can not disprove the model, and you're trying to make a proof)
Then couldn't you invalidate any theory you like by suggesting that "God does not allow that"? The idea you're suggesting, that there's some kind of law by which the Universe does not allow any set of circumstances to occur twice in the same way, and that that law prevents the occurrence the same consciousness twice, is no less arbitrary, and therefore no more convincing.



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Old 07-01-2015, 05:21 PM   #77 (permalink)
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There are always ways to invalidate theories - in a sense it's the essence of what makes them a theory as opposed to a law.


It may very well be that in a cause and effect universe, the duplication of a consciousness is possible, and somehow that is a contradiction (which it may not be.. one would need to clearly define what consciousness actually is in order to verify an absolute contradiction.. but let's say it is), and therefore consciousness is not a product of cause and effect. I am absolutely and completely fine with that idea as a possibility.

Either scenario, among countless others, are valid theoretical frameworks in the sense that they may hold up to scrutiny -- but ultimately they can not be verified to be TRUE.. not yet at least.



But you are talking about a logical proof, and logic is infallible.

Our understanding of the universe and consciousness is theoretical (at best). Essentially it's logically invalid to assert that a logical proof can be drawn about the exact workings of something we don't have a complete understanding of. Such a logical proof needs to hold up against all possibilities, and to know all possibilities, we need to know everything about the universe (and beyond).


Simply put:

you can't prove logic when all you have to work with is a theory.
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Old 07-01-2015, 06:07 PM   #78 (permalink)
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So, basically, you went to all that trouble to say, "Since I can conceive of a plausible scenario in which this may not be so, then you can't be 100% sure you're right"? Because I seem to remember it being about proving me wrong, not proving me less than absolutely sure. And to the latter, I say, "Duh!" Of course I could be wrong. It's always possible I haven't thought of everything.

However, that's a far cry from any honest challenge to my argument. Do you have any critique of my reasoning, or the premises upon which it is based, aside from an arbitrary "What if?" scenario?



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Old 07-01-2015, 06:39 PM   #79 (permalink)
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My aim from the beginning was merely to have you reassess this statement you made prior:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post
My argument proves that the brain product model is impossible. Read it again.



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Indeed, the point of my concern was with you treating your idea as a logical proof, exemplified by that quote of yours, as well as aspects of your response to fenderbender. Based on your language, there was no other way to interpret what you said as something other than you seeing the idea as an actual proof.

and as for communicating my intent, I did state as much, first implicitly by focusing on the key word 'proof' and 'prove', and explicitly two days ago with this statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir-Ex View Post
Bear in mind that my aim hasn't been to pose a working theory of how consciousness might come to be.

My interest has so far only been to invalidate your proof, and expose it underneath the best light as I can see, which through my own scrutiny, would be a theory.

From this I can only assume that either you didn't read that post, or you're backing up and changing your approach now.


I have no critique on the idea itself, other than to say I disagree with it out of principal due to a lack of clear definition of consciousness, but I don't feel strongly about it being true or not true. I'm open to it.



For clarity's sake, I presented an alternate scenario where your idea doesn't hold up simply as a means of showing your idea to not be a proof by way of example.
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Old 07-01-2015, 07:10 PM   #80 (permalink)
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Experience of being aware: self evident.

You cannot both experience being aware and not experience being aware at the same time: basic non-contradiction argument.

If something occurs then conditions can arise in which it can occur: again, self-evident.

I don't see any of the bases of my argument as lacking. All your "alternative scenario" does is to postulate that perhaps the last point could be interfered with. That's not enough to disprove the argument.

If your position is that I have not made a sufficient proof, then I would like you to produce an example of a proof which IS sufficient, so I can have a clearer idea of what it is my argument lacks.



The Rev
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