RickD wrote: neo-x wrote: RickD wrote:
neo-x wrote:Thoughts exist only because of neural synapses. A very material thing, a real physical thing. When a single neuron fires, a thousand other fire with it, this collective trigger is called a thought. Without this, there are no thoughts. It is a very platonist thing to say that thoughts exist the same way a rock or a brick exists but in a non-physical reality devoid of space and time.
Thoughts may exist the same way electromagnetism exists, it is invisible yet exist entire in a physical space and time. But are thoughts immaterial in the same sense as God is immaterial? - is a mere supposition.
Thoughts exist in a physical world only. God is the only true immaterial being there is and even God can't have thoughts - as he can't imagine anything - all things being fully actualized in himself by his very nature. So if by immaterial we actually mean God (and God can't think of anything immaterial), then it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.
Where do you think thoughts come from?
Really? I would've thought that you would suggest that thoughts come from the mind. You know, we're sentient beings with a mind. Sensory experience makes it sound like humans are nothing more than physical beings, and everything we do is just a result of physical reactions that our senses pick up.
Our mind reacts to certain things via our sensory experience. Alone, a mind can think of nothing. For example, if someone doesn't have any of the sensory organs that humans have, plus no brain to store them, they will not have any thoughts, e.g. stones. What you refer to "mind" is just a massive data centre for all the sensory data the brain has to work and categorize with learning.
That is why even animals, who don't have the same brain functions as humans, still can have thoughts precisely because they have sensory input, they can mourn, show love and affection, friendship, bonding, social understanding of power hierarchies within their own species, differentiate between offsprings, mates and pride members, excitement, aggressiveness, irritation, can make distinct sounds that carry off as signals and calls, birds and whale songs come to mind, can coordinate via body language and eye contact, can deceive, ambush, do group attacks and coordinate teamwork either as predator or prey, have a sense of belonging and territory.
That is why a person who is blind and deaf and can't feel with his skin - can't conceive a circle because there is no sensory data to show that such a geometrical shape exists. Whereas someone who can't see but can touch and feel can still form a rough shape in his mind e.g. take people who read the braille. A person, who can't smell can still taste; a person who can't feel anything but can see or hear can still have an idea. But all of this comes from one sensory experience or the other, if one sensory organ is missing, another one substitutes for it. But take out all and just let the brain be what it is, will result in nothing.
It is, of course, a very hard thing to imagine, because even the hair on our skin acts as a sensory object so therefore, even as a child when you haven't learned what is what, you can still feel safe within the same environment, as your cot, bed, room etc because your skin, your eyes, your ears are still gathering data.
My point is, that without sensory experience there can be no thoughts, hence no abstraction either. This is exactly the reason we can't fathom or understand infinities (if they exist or not is irrelevant), we can't visualize a complete vacuum, nor a quantum particle in two states at the same time, because our "mind" doesn't have the necessary sensory data to understand and categorize these things, so we use artificial methods such as numbers and signs to show what these concepts mean. That is why we visualize an immaterial God, that to even think about him as a spirit or immaterial being still conjures one image or other, even if we don't see him as human, we still associate God as light or blinding white or something but not as nothing because we can't even imagine nothingness. All you can imagine is black, but even black is still black - not nothingness. That is why even when some humans believe that there is a human spirit, only imagining an image of the respective person (a very greek idea btw) that may walk through walls but still an image nonetheless. It is just how the mind copes with things it can't understand via sensory organs so it uses artificial intelligence to solve them, as it can't really understand those things.
And you can verify it by just looking at the human history as a separate way. All of the human inventions have been built on one before. For instance, the man living in caves thought of a circle or a wheel but not of a spaceship, that is why a spear gave way to a sword but not an ICBM. It is impossible to think of things we don't know or understand. That is why outer-earth space flight to Mars was only conceived after the idea of flying and hence air travel and not before, because our minds couldn't conceive of it, even though if thoughts or ideas come from somewhere outside, then it should have been otherwise. And we only ever thought of flying because we saw birds flying.