Physicalism rids our self of existence?

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Do you agree with below (please read first), that physicalism is incompatible with the existence of our self?

Yes
8
62%
No (please comment)
5
38%
 
Total votes: 13

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Kurieuo
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Physicalism rids our self of existence?

#1

Post by Kurieuo » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:22 pm

Physicalism, the view that all which exists is ultimately physical, seems to me that it denies our existence when followed through to its logical conclusion. For if our decisions and actions are determined by chemical reactions taking place and particles bouncing into and ricocheting off each other, then "we" don't really exist. Yet, it seems absurd to me to believe we don't really exist. As Descartes put it some time ago, "I think therefore I am." We know we really do exist because we directly experience our existence. To even be able to deny our own existence involves our existence. Therefore, if we can be sure of anything it is that we really do exist.

Now this brings us to a point where a whole Physicalist position becomes undermined. For consider the following modus tollens argument:
<blockquote>1) If Physicalism is true, then we don't exist.
2) We do exist.
3) Therefore Physicalism is not true.</blockquote>Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#2

Post by j316 » Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:31 pm

I hate to disagree with you about this point, but what I see as the origin of this argument is the concept that a major component our identities arises out of interaction with the physical [objective] world. This is true to a large extent, but it is not the only factor in the equation.

Our identity originated in a plane that transcends our physical reality, but it definitely does interact with our physical world and is molded by it[physical reality] it to whatever extent we believe in it.

What is christianity trying to tell you? That you are not a child of the natural world! That means that the natural world is a powerful force to be reckoned with in considering just what your identity actually is; that validates the argument that you are trying to refute

I agree with you that physicalism is not all there is, but it is a serious component of the whole picture.

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Kurieuo
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#3

Post by Kurieuo » Sat Jul 09, 2005 12:08 am

j316 wrote:I hate to disagree with you about this point, but what I see as the origin of this argument is the concept that a major component our identities arises out of interaction with the physical [objective] world. This is true to a large extent, but it is not the only factor in the equation.

Our identity originated in a plane that transcends our physical reality, but it definitely does interact with our physical world and is molded by it[physical reality] it to whatever extent we believe in it.
I'm not really sure in what way you are disagreeing with me? My argument never really touched upon what our identity consists of, but I'm inclined to agree our interaction with the physical helps to shape who we are (although perhaps not what we are [big distinction!]). I think this is what you mean by saying our identity (our self?) is non-physical, although the physical certainly impacts upon our identity...? Yet as far as this goes, I have not properly thought out my beliefs with regards to the relationship of our self to the physical world.
What is christianity trying to tell you? That you are not a child of the natural world! That means that the natural world is a powerful force to be reckoned with in considering just what your identity actually is; that validates the argument that you are trying to refute

I agree with you that physicalism is not all there is, but it is a serious component of the whole picture.
The "position" I am refuting is that everything is ultimately physical. Physicalism means our choices would come down to being determined by random or necessary natural chemical reactions taking place. This means "we" would not really exist, as what we think are our actions aren't really "our" actions, but rather a chemical reaction or some other physical effect taking place. The problem for physicalism is that we are directly aware of our experiences. Therefore "we" really do exist. Which brings us back to my argument (which I'll state in full):
<blockquote>1) If physicalism is true, then our actions are determined by physical occurences.
2) If our actions are determined by physical occurences, then "we" do not really exist.
3) We do exist as is evidenced by our direct experiences.
4) Therefore physicalism is not true.</blockquote>I am not arguing that nothing physical pertains or impacts upon our identity, but rather I am making an argument against everything that exists being physical. As far as I can tell you are in agreement with my argument against physicalism?

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#4

Post by j316 » Mon Jul 11, 2005 8:32 am

Kurieuo, I would say that we agree. I apparently lost track of what you you were actually saying. A senior moment.

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#5

Post by Silvertusk » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:06 am

I agree as well

Athiestic science goes on even further to suggest that our consciousness (sp?) is only an emmergent property of the complexity of our brain and doesn't really need to be there in the first place. We were just lucky in that respect I guess.

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#6

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Sat Aug 13, 2005 8:32 pm

Which assumes that matter has some inherant conscious properties. Which means they cannot defend against the emergence of god (if complexity=conscious, then with more complexity you can get something that's god-like popping up like our individual consciousness..but bigger of course).
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Re: Physicalism rids our self of existence?

#7

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:52 pm

Kurieuo wrote:Physicalism, the view that all which exists is ultimately physical, seems to me that it denies our existence when followed through to its logical conclusion. For if our decisions and actions are determined by chemical reactions taking place and particles bouncing into and ricocheting off each other, then "we" don't really exist. Yet, it seems absurd to me to believe we don't really exist. As Descartes put it some time ago, "I think therefore I am." We know we really do exist because we directly experience our existence. To even be able to deny our own existence involves our existence. Therefore, if we can be sure of anything it is that we really do exist.

Now this brings us to a point where a whole Physicalist position becomes undermined. For consider the following modus tollens argument:
<blockquote>1) If Physicalism is true, then we don't exist.
2) We do exist.
3) Therefore Physicalism is not true.</blockquote>Kurieuo.
I am not saying this is my personal beleif but I must argue this.
An assumption is made in the first argument.
"If Physicalism is true, then we don't exist."
A rock is purely physical what causes it to "decide" not to move when still.
Or if it is in motion to stay in motion.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#8

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Oct 25, 2005 10:29 am

You don't make sense.
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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#9

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:20 am

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:You don't make sense.
Care to provide any arguments?
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#10

Post by AttentionKMartShoppers » Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:41 pm

BGoodForGoodSake wrote:
AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:You don't make sense.
Care to provide any arguments?
Nobody can understand you
"My actions prove that God takes care of idiots."

He occasionally stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
- On Stanley Baldwin

-Winston Churchill

An atheist can't find God for the same reason a criminal can't find a police officer.

You need to start asking out girls so that you can get used to the rejections.
-Anonymous

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