The meaning of immaterial life

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#46

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:26 am

Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Understood, but WHY?
The view of a believer is that because life comes from God, He creates it and sustains it.

But as an atheist, what do you base that on? The values you have been taught by society?
As a non believer, I value life because of what I am able to do while alive. Once my life is gone, I will no longer be able to do the things that I really enjoy doing. Thus life is precious to me.

Ken
PaulSacramento wrote:Doesn't that strike you as self-centered?
No!
PaulSacramento wrote:That view values YOUR life, but what of the life of another?
Their life is valuable for the same reason as mine.

Ken
So, even though you value life because of what YOU can do with it, you don't view this as being self-centered?
I mean, if you couldn't do anything with your life, does that mean it has no value?

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#47

Post by Kenny » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:23 am

Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Understood, but WHY?
The view of a believer is that because life comes from God, He creates it and sustains it.

But as an atheist, what do you base that on? The values you have been taught by society?
As a non believer, I value life because of what I am able to do while alive. Once my life is gone, I will no longer be able to do the things that I really enjoy doing. Thus life is precious to me.

Ken
PaulSacramento wrote:Doesn't that strike you as self-centered?
No!
PaulSacramento wrote:That view values YOUR life, but what of the life of another?
Their life is valuable for the same reason as mine.

Ken
PaulSacramento wrote: So, even though you value life because of what YOU can do with it, you don't view this as being self-centered?
Not quite sure how you are defining self centered, but I define it as focusing on what is good for you to the detriment of others. For me to value my life because I enjoy living doesn’t cause harm to others so I don’t see this as self centered.
PaulSacramento wrote: I mean, if you couldn't do anything with your life, does that mean it has no value?
If I couldn’t do ANYTHING? Like if I were bed ridden, or in a vegetative state? If I were just bed ridden, as long as my mind works I could still do stuff, but if my mind were gone, I would be unable to see any value in my life.

Ken
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#48

Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:03 pm

Self centered means centered on your self, as YOUR happiness and YOUR feelings and not others.

The difference between your view and mine, as an example, is that life is sacred regardless of the quality of life of the individual.
A person in vegetative state is as sacred as one that is 100% functional.

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#49

Post by Nils » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:11 pm

Kurieuo wrote: A material worldview would say that the physical chemistry creates an emotional affect where "we" feel this "falling in love". Yet, it can't work the other way around with "falling in love" affecting the brain unless one accepts mental states aren't all derived from physical states.
There are several versions of materialism but the version I go for is emergent properties and supervenience. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervenience) A feeling in the brain consists of a pattern of neurological states that consists of a number cellular states, of moleculars, of atoms that consist of .... Each level of description supervenes on a lower level. That means that if there is a specific feeling that consists of for instance a pattern of molecules, then if this pattern occurs again, this feeling occurs, i.e. the feeling is associated with the molecule pattern. If you just look at the molecule level if will extremely complicated to describe what is going on but if you go to a higher level, feelings emerge and you may be able to understand what's going on.

Another example, waves of water consist of water molecules. When describing systems of waves it is in principle possible to do that on the molecule level but it much much simpler to do it on the wave level. Waves are an emerging property that supervenience on the molecules.

This is intended to explain how "falling in love" is both a high level property as well as a state of brain molecules and that therefore there is no problem how "falling in love" can affect other parts of the brain.

Saying that the brain is only "chemical reactions" is almost as clever as saying that the Watson computer winning Jeopardy is just some silicon, only a million times worse.

Nils

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#50

Post by Kenny » Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:16 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Self centered means centered on your self, as YOUR happiness and YOUR feelings and not others.
Okay; then I was not being self centered, because I DO care about the feelings of others.
PaulSacramento wrote: The difference between your view and mine, as an example, is that life is sacred regardless of the quality of life of the individual.
A person in vegetative state is as sacred as one that is 100% functional.
So would you value your own life equally if you were in a vegetative state, as much as you do now fully whole?

Ken
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#51

Post by Nessa » Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:38 pm

Kenny wrote:
Nessa wrote:
Kenny wrote:
1over137 wrote:Then kenny, you would not die for someone, correct?
Probably not. Why do you ask?

Ken
If someone else's life is just as valuable as your own, then what makes you choose to save your life over theirs?
My life is (subjectively) more valuable to me.

Ken
Then you dont really see their life as just as valuable

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#52

Post by Kenny » Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:21 pm

Nessa wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Nessa wrote:
Kenny wrote:
1over137 wrote:Then kenny, you would not die for someone, correct?
Probably not. Why do you ask?

Ken
If someone else's life is just as valuable as your own, then what makes you choose to save your life over theirs?
My life is (subjectively) more valuable to me.

Ken
Then you dont really see their life as just as valuable
If you asked me whose life do I value more, yours; a person I’ve never met, or my brothers, whom I’ve spent my entire life building an emotional relationship with, I could easily claim that all lives are equal and one life is no more valuable than another etc. etc. But if I found out you were killed, I would feel bad due to the great conversations we’ve had; but if I found out my brother were killed, my response would be distraught, outrage, disbelief, and extreme sorrow. In other words, my reaction of learning of my brothers death vs my reaction of learning of your death would make it obvious that my claim that I value all lives equally was a lie. Does this make sense to you?

Ken
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#53

Post by Kurieuo » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:47 pm

Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: A material worldview would say that the physical chemistry creates an emotional affect where "we" feel this "falling in love". Yet, it can't work the other way around with "falling in love" affecting the brain unless one accepts mental states aren't all derived from physical states.
There are several versions of materialism but the version I go for is emergent properties and supervenience. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervenience) A feeling in the brain consists of a pattern of neurological states that consists of a number cellular states, of moleculars, of atoms that consist of .... Each level of description supervenes on a lower level. That means that if there is a specific feeling that consists of for instance a pattern of molecules, then if this pattern occurs again, this feeling occurs, i.e. the feeling is associated with the molecule pattern. If you just look at the molecule level if will extremely complicated to describe what is going on but if you go to a higher level, feelings emerge and you may be able to understand what's going on.

Another example, waves of water consist of water molecules. When describing systems of waves it is in principle possible to do that on the molecule level but it much much simpler to do it on the wave level. Waves are an emerging property that supervenience on the molecules.

This is intended to explain how "falling in love" is both a high level property as well as a state of brain molecules and that therefore there is no problem how "falling in love" can affect other parts of the brain.

Saying that the brain is only "chemical reactions" is almost as clever as saying that the Watson computer winning Jeopardy is just some silicon, only a million times worse.
What you describe essentially amounts to epiphenominalism. It's all one way like I attempted to point out. That is, physical states produce mental states (i.e., "falling in love"). Yet, mental states can't affect physical states (since mental is all reducible to physical). Even if a physical layer is required for the mental to supervene upon, ultimately its the physical causing the mental to "smoke off" -- never the other way around. There is no way around it.

Since you embrace Determinism (from a post I read of yours elsewhere), then I expect this poses no dilemma to you. If that is true, than I'm assuming when push comes to shove that you'd ultimately believe we aren't responsible for our actions anymore than an apple is responsible for its falling from a tree under the effects of gravity.
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#54

Post by Nessa » Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:28 pm

Kenny wrote:
Nessa wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Nessa wrote:
Kenny wrote: Probably not. Why do you ask?

Ken
If someone else's life is just as valuable as your own, then what makes you choose to save your life over theirs?
My life is (subjectively) more valuable to me.

Ken
Then you dont really see their life as just as valuable
If you asked me whose life do I value more, yours; a person I’ve never met, or my brothers, whom I’ve spent my entire life building an emotional relationship with, I could easily claim that all lives are equal and one life is no more valuable than another etc. etc. But if I found out you were killed, I would feel bad due to the great conversations we’ve had; but if I found out my brother were killed, my response would be distraught, outrage, disbelief, and extreme sorrow. In other words, my reaction of learning of my brothers death vs my reaction of learning of your death would make it obvious that my claim that I value all lives equally was a lie. Does this make sense to you?

Ken
Are you saying im right then?

And are you also saying you wouldn't fly to NZ for my funeral? y[-( heehee

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#55

Post by Kenny » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:17 pm

Kenny wrote:
Nessa wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Nessa wrote: If someone else's life is just as valuable as your own, then what makes you choose to save your life over theirs?
My life is (subjectively) more valuable to me.

Ken
Then you dont really see their life as just as valuable
If you asked me whose life do I value more, yours; a person I’ve never met, or my brothers, whom I’ve spent my entire life building an emotional relationship with, I could easily claim that all lives are equal and one life is no more valuable than another etc. etc. But if I found out you were killed, I would feel bad due to the great conversations we’ve had; but if I found out my brother were killed, my response would be distraught, outrage, disbelief, and extreme sorrow. In other words, my reaction of learning of my brothers death vs my reaction of learning of your death would make it obvious that my claim that I value all lives equally was a lie. Does this make sense to you?

Ken
Nessa wrote: Are you saying im right then?
Yes.
Nessa wrote: And are you also saying you wouldn't fly to NZ for my funeral? y[-( heehee
No; I'm afraid not. However if my brother died in NZ I would fly there for the funeral.
Now that I've answered your questions, would you mind answering mine?

Ken
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#56

Post by Justhuman » Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:54 pm

Well... My original topic title "The meaning of immaterial life" might be wrong. Since 'meaning of' in a material universe is somewhat a contradiction. It should have better been "The purpose of immaterial life".

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#57

Post by Nils » Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:38 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: A material worldview would say that the physical chemistry creates an emotional affect where "we" feel this "falling in love". Yet, it can't work the other way around with "falling in love" affecting the brain unless one accepts mental states aren't all derived from physical states.
There are several versions of materialism but the version I go for is emergent properties and supervenience. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervenience) A feeling in the brain consists of a pattern of neurological states that consists of a number cellular states, of moleculars, of atoms that consist of .... Each level of description supervenes on a lower level. That means that if there is a specific feeling that consists of for instance a pattern of molecules, then if this pattern occurs again, this feeling occurs, i.e. the feeling is associated with the molecule pattern. If you just look at the molecule level if will extremely complicated to describe what is going on but if you go to a higher level, feelings emerge and you may be able to understand what's going on.

Another example, waves of water consist of water molecules. When describing systems of waves it is in principle possible to do that on the molecule level but it much much simpler to do it on the wave level. Waves are an emerging property that supervenience on the molecules.

This is intended to explain how "falling in love" is both a high level property as well as a state of brain molecules and that therefore there is no problem how "falling in love" can affect other parts of the brain.

Saying that the brain is only "chemical reactions" is almost as clever as saying that the Watson computer winning Jeopardy is just some silicon, only a million times worse.
What you describe essentially amounts to epiphenominalism. It's all one way like I attempted to point out. That is, physical states produce mental states (i.e., "falling in love"). Yet, mental states can't affect physical states (since mental is all reducible to physical). Even if a physical layer is required for the mental to supervene upon, ultimately its the physical causing the mental to "smoke off" -- never the other way around. There is no way around it.
No, you misunderstand me. Physical states do not produce mental states. Mental states are an aspect of physical states just as waves are an aspect of a collection of water molecules. You seem to talk about some kind of dualism but being a materialist I am not a dualist.

Since you embrace Determinism (from a post I read of yours elsewhere), then I expect this poses no dilemma to you. If that is true, than I'm assuming when push comes to shove that you'd ultimately believe we aren't responsible for our actions anymore than an apple is responsible for its falling from a tree under the effects of gravity.
[/quote]
As I have written elsewhere that I am not a determinist but perhaps you can say that I embrace determinism. It is not central to my worldview whether determinism is true or not.

The question of responsibility is huge and I would prefer to discuss it separately. Very shortly only:
I don't think that there is true responsibility even if determinism is false. In some sense there certainly is responsibility whether determinism is true or not.

Nils

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#58

Post by PaulSacramento » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:30 am

Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Self centered means centered on your self, as YOUR happiness and YOUR feelings and not others.
Okay; then I was not being self centered, because I DO care about the feelings of others.
PaulSacramento wrote: The difference between your view and mine, as an example, is that life is sacred regardless of the quality of life of the individual.
A person in vegetative state is as sacred as one that is 100% functional.
So would you value your own life equally if you were in a vegetative state, as much as you do now fully whole?

Ken
Yes, of course, and the life of another.
The sacred state of something is objective, not subjective.
If something is sacred, it is sacred.

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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#59

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:45 am

Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: A material worldview would say that the physical chemistry creates an emotional affect where "we" feel this "falling in love". Yet, it can't work the other way around with "falling in love" affecting the brain unless one accepts mental states aren't all derived from physical states.
There are several versions of materialism but the version I go for is emergent properties and supervenience. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervenience) A feeling in the brain consists of a pattern of neurological states that consists of a number cellular states, of moleculars, of atoms that consist of .... Each level of description supervenes on a lower level. That means that if there is a specific feeling that consists of for instance a pattern of molecules, then if this pattern occurs again, this feeling occurs, i.e. the feeling is associated with the molecule pattern. If you just look at the molecule level if will extremely complicated to describe what is going on but if you go to a higher level, feelings emerge and you may be able to understand what's going on.

Another example, waves of water consist of water molecules. When describing systems of waves it is in principle possible to do that on the molecule level but it much much simpler to do it on the wave level. Waves are an emerging property that supervenience on the molecules.

This is intended to explain how "falling in love" is both a high level property as well as a state of brain molecules and that therefore there is no problem how "falling in love" can affect other parts of the brain.

Saying that the brain is only "chemical reactions" is almost as clever as saying that the Watson computer winning Jeopardy is just some silicon, only a million times worse.
What you describe essentially amounts to epiphenominalism. It's all one way like I attempted to point out. That is, physical states produce mental states (i.e., "falling in love"). Yet, mental states can't affect physical states (since mental is all reducible to physical). Even if a physical layer is required for the mental to supervene upon, ultimately its the physical causing the mental to "smoke off" -- never the other way around. There is no way around it.
No, you misunderstand me. Physical states do not produce mental states. Mental states are an aspect of physical states just as waves are an aspect of a collection of water molecules.
It seems to me you just articulated what I said in your own words. ;)
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Re: The meaning of immaterial life

#60

Post by Nils » Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:09 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote:
Nils wrote:
Kurieuo wrote: A material worldview would say that the physical chemistry creates an emotional affect where "we" feel this "falling in love". Yet, it can't work the other way around with "falling in love" affecting the brain unless one accepts mental states aren't all derived from physical states.
There are several versions of materialism but the version I go for is emergent properties and supervenience. (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervenience) A feeling in the brain consists of a pattern of neurological states that consists of a number cellular states, of moleculars, of atoms that consist of .... Each level of description supervenes on a lower level. That means that if there is a specific feeling that consists of for instance a pattern of molecules, then if this pattern occurs again, this feeling occurs, i.e. the feeling is associated with the molecule pattern. If you just look at the molecule level if will extremely complicated to describe what is going on but if you go to a higher level, feelings emerge and you may be able to understand what's going on.

Another example, waves of water consist of water molecules. When describing systems of waves it is in principle possible to do that on the molecule level but it much much simpler to do it on the wave level. Waves are an emerging property that supervenience on the molecules.

This is intended to explain how "falling in love" is both a high level property as well as a state of brain molecules and that therefore there is no problem how "falling in love" can affect other parts of the brain.

Saying that the brain is only "chemical reactions" is almost as clever as saying that the Watson computer winning Jeopardy is just some silicon, only a million times worse.
What you describe essentially amounts to epiphenominalism. It's all one way like I attempted to point out. That is, physical states produce mental states (i.e., "falling in love"). Yet, mental states can't affect physical states (since mental is all reducible to physical). Even if a physical layer is required for the mental to supervene upon, ultimately its the physical causing the mental to "smoke off" -- never the other way around. There is no way around it.
No, you misunderstand me. Physical states do not produce mental states. Mental states are an aspect of physical states just as waves are an aspect of a collection of water molecules.
It seems to me you just articulated what I said in your own words. ;)
But it doesn't seem so to me. You said that physical states produce mental states. I say they don't.
Please explain.

Nils

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