Panpsychism - a philosophy with a future

by slimboyfat 140 Replies latest social current

  • Ruby456

    great link JP.

    Going back to your OP slimboyfat, I guess I am very very prejudiced against the idea of panschycism because of my years of fear and anxiety re the activity of satan. And yet in his video Terrence Deacon explains that satan can be seen as nothing more than zero or absence. Not giving zero a place in maths created a huge void imo.

    He argues that if we re-instate zero and absence then everything makes more sense. In this scenario I would suggest that the fear and trepidation we feel at satan is fear instilled through the void created by taking zero out of the equation. This makes the fear itself real.

  • ballistic

    [quote]Yes we usually call that being dead.[/quote]

    I can see why you say that and it's logical to think that from a human perspective. But don't challenge me to say what being a rock actually feels like, even a Tibetan Monk would struggle to find the words. The human mind only likes to work with concepts that it can hold onto, so when trying to visualise a state of being which is not even a concept, the language breaks down. In fact even when you think of your self, you are actually thinking of a concept of yourself and not actually yourself.

  • Ruby456

    bingo ballistic - indeed we work with representations of everything and these are often socially constructed.

    isn't it ironic that reductionists tend to represent everything as atoms. So this is the other end of the extreme. If we pay attn to the extremes - that we are nothing but lifeless atoms or that everything in the universe feels/experiences then at least we can experience shifts in emphasis.

  • cofty

    Ballistic - no amount of profundity will change the reality that rocks and dead people are have absolutely no awareness or consciousness - still waiting for SBF to define the difference.

    It's all hand-waving. "Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".

  • jp1692

    Ruby: great link JP

    You're welcome.

  • sparrowdown

    Yes please define consciousness in the context of this thread and dummies like me.

    I assume Not talking about:

    Level of consciousness from a medical POV which can be observed and tested.

    Consciousness as in "I know I'am alive."

    Deeper psychological/philosophical consciousness as in insight, understanding and awareness as to the true nature of one's own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and reality.

    Is something that is "programmed" conscious?

    What about stem cells for instance are they "conscious"?

    What about water? A tree? A rock or a pet rock?

    All very interesting guys.

  • Simon

    Some of these talks just make me realize that certain people will do absolutely anything to get on TV. Now it's YouTube.

    And there's always enough idiots about to listen and promote complete dumb-fuckery.

    Rocks are no more alive than Jesus is.

  • slimboyfat

    I don't think anyone thinks rocks are alive. I don't think "dead" a particularly good description for them either. For something to be dead, doesn't it imply it was once alive? I don't think rocks were ever alive. Having said that, of course there are exceptions, like lumps of coal for example. It might make sense to describe coal as dead matter since it was once living matter. But not so igneous rocks and so on.

    We know that we experiece things and we know that we are made of matter. This is the only instance we have direct experience. So we know that at least some matter is able to experience, because we ourselves do. Which kind of poses the question: are there other kinds of matter that lack the ability to experience? We can't say for sure. Which kinds of turns the common intuition on its head, and suggests we should take the experimental quality of matter for granted, until proved otherwise in any given case. Or at least it shows that it's not necessarily safe to assume the non-experiential quality of matter outside the consciousness of humans and other species.

  • cofty
    We can't say for sure

    Yes we can.

    we should take the experimental [sic] quality of matter for granted

    No of course we shouldn't be so obtuse.

    at least it shows that it's not necessarily safe to assume the non-experiential quality of matter outside the consciousness of humans and other species

    Yes we can safely assume this cup I am holding experiences absolutely nothing. You are dishonestly passing on the burden of proof.

    That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

  • waton

    SBF: it is extraordinary that you define lifeless matter as one that had previously been in an life-carrying arrangement. Matter does not have to die to be lifeless (dead).

    The propensity of electrons to combine, rearrange with others (like in Oxygen) can not be construed to mean they have consciousness, a desire to react.

    I am a rock hound by the way, Amber, and naturally polished beach pebbles my favourites ( like Newton).

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